Sunday, 31 March 2013

Mock Crucifixions: Top Crowd Drawers

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..."

Mock Crucifixions:  Top Crowd Drawers 
            Holy Week is Semana Santa to some.  It is Mahal na Araw to many.  It is a more than a week-long religious event starting with Palm Sunday and ending with Easter Sunday. To commemorate Jesus Christ's  triumphal entry into Jerusalem, church goers bring with them palm fronds or palaspas on Palm Sunday.  At the end of the mass, they have these fronds blessed by the priest. Palm Sunday is Domingo de Ramos.

           The Pabasa, where devotees sing hymns of praise, usually starts on Holy Monday and extends up to the wee hours of the next morning. Listeners and plain kibitzers are served pospas or ginataang bilo bilo. The procession of religious icons is a much awaited Holy Week event which can be witnessed on Holy Wednesday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. 

             Marikina, Cainta, Antipolo and almost every town hold with fervor the Prusisyon with the residents joining and assisting as the procession passes through the principal and side streets of the town. Baliwag, which is my paternal grandmother's hometown, owns the distinction of having the biggest religious icons in what is considered as the grandest procession of them all.  It is witnessed by thousands of devotees.

              On Maundy Thursday, it is time for Visita Iglesia. Most Catholics make it a point to visit at least 7 churches on this day. I usually visit the churches in the towns of Cainta, Taytay, Angono, Binangonan, Cardona, Morong and Tanay.  Seven all in all. In doing so, I get the chance to travel and savor the delectable dishes of these lakeshore towns.

              The next day is Good Friday when Catholics recall and reenact the suffering and death on the Cross of the man they call Jesus Christ. Penitensya goes to the streets of every town with participants garbed in colorful attires. It is Biyernes Santo.  In Cainta, three men, representing the betrayed Jesus, Dismas and Gestas, are crucified before 3pm of Good Friday at the church's courtyard.  Mock crucifixion is always a top crowd drawer.

              Black Saturday centers on the vigil and praying at the church.   It is Sabado de Gloria. Jesus Christ is now ceremoniously dead. Catholics are supposed to be mourning. The glass casket of Christ is viewed by churchgoers. All statues within the church's premises are covered with linen. There are no candles.  There are no cloths on the altar table. The altar is bare. In the evening, vigil begins.

             Christ is resurrected on Easter Sunday. We rejoice in the Risen Christ.  We hold the traditional Salubong where the statue of Christ meets that of Mother Mary at a designated place.  The Salubong is done very early in the morning. It is usually at sunrise and the townspeople join and celebrate.  It is Pasko once again or Linggo ng Pagkabuhay. Bells are rung and there is a fireworks display.  

             Happy Easter  to everyone.


Antipolo Church is one of the most visited churches during the Holy Week.

Freshly painted monument of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage

Church girl prepares main altar for the Holy Week activities.

In preparation for the visit of countless devotees, blown up pictures of the Stations Of The Cross and printed in tarpaulin are posted in strategic places around the church's courtyard.  The First Station is on the left side of the main entrance.

The Second Station is under the shade of a narra tree.

The Fourth Station is near the perimeter fence.

The Sixth Station:  Jesus Falls For The First Time

The Tenth Station is near the windows of the church.

The 12th Station:  Jesus Dies On The Cross

The 14th and last station ends at the right side of the main entrance.

Deep in prayer

Palm Fronds for sale

Antipolo Church is filled to the rafters on Palm Sunday.

Palm Sunday commemorates the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem.

More than a hundred churchgoers wait outside the church for the blessing of palm fronds or Palaspas.

The actual blessing of palm fronds or Palaspas which churchgoers take home for good luck.

Pabasa is usually done on Holy Monday or even earlier.

Penitensya goes to the streets of Marikina.

Jesus Christ falls on his knees and is mocked by an official.

Barrabas the thief takes time out and smokes while boy on the right curiously looks on.

With the cross getting heavier and as the lashing continues, Jesus Christ is about  to take another fall.

The weak and severely beaten Jesus Christ is mocked again.

This one is in Cainta, Rizal.  

Jesus is about to fall.

The man they call Jesus Christ kisses the ground.

The Our Lady of The Light Church in Cainta, Rizal

Golden Shower tree at the compound of Cainta Church

Catholics praying and doing the Stations Of The Cross at The Our Lady Of The Light in Cainta, Rizal.

Statues are covered with fabric on Good Friday or Biyernes Santo.

Site of the Reenactment of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  It is within the compound of Cainta Church.

Cross for a thief to be crucified with Jesus Christ

Another cross for another thief

Three Crosses for three condemned men

Jesus Christ reviews his lines.

The first thief is tied to the cross.

The first thief is the Penitent Thief.  He is called Dismas.

He is the second thief.

He is the bad thief.  His name is Gestas.

Roman soldiers taking charge

Jesus Christ is nailed to the cross.

Jesus Christ tells the Penitent Thief: " Today, you will be with me in Paradise. "

Jesus Christ is in the middle.  To his right is Dismas.  To his left is Gestas.

Jesus Christ bears the pain of being crucified.

Jesus Christ cries out:  " Father, why have you forsaken me? "

Gestas, the bad thief, taunts Jesus: " If you are the Son of God, then save yourself, save us. "

Jesus says: " I thirst. " For a human being, the punishment is too much.

Mary Magdalene, Mother Mary and Mary of Cleopas get near the cross of Jesus Christ.

Christ declares: " It is finished." His mission on earth has been accomplished.  He has saved mankind. Then he whispers:  "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." Then he 'dies'.

The Penitent Thief Dismas is now 'dead'.

The Unrepentant Thief Gestas  'dies'.

The Reenactment is over.

Our Lady Of The Light Church in Cainta, Rizal. It is part of my yearly Visita Iglesia.

St John The Baptist Parish Church in Taytay, Rizal

St. Clement Church in Angono

Sta Ursula Church in Binangonan

St. Jerome Chruch in Morong, Rizal

St. Joseph Parish Church in the town of Baras

San Ildefonso de Toledo Church in Tanay

Preparing for the Holy Week procession

Prusisyon is held on Holy Wednesday, Good Friday and  Easter Sunday.

A carroza decorated with beautiful flowers

The Carroza of San Bartolome

 Long-time Melbourne residents Engr.Cris and Viring join Good Friday procession .

Boeing's Armin and Deborah with son Jermin take a break from work.

This is a much awaited Holy Week activity.

Countless religious images take part in the long procession that passes through the  principal streets and  viewed by young and old alike.

Number One Councilman Nicky Boy leads Good Friday procession.

Our Lady Of The Abandoned Church in Marikina City

Santo Sepulchro is Jesus Christ in glass casket.
The Risen Christ

It is now Easter Sunday at the Our Lady Of The Light Church in Cainta