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Spend Your Holy Week the Traditional Way; Plus Places to Stay

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By Trisha Mendoza

No plans yet for the Holy Week? Then why not revisit some of our very own Holy Week traditions in the city or out of town.

Whether you are now feeling reflective or thinking of an intimate time with your family these Holy Week holidays, commemorating the Passion of Christ in the more traditional sense would make the experience interesting and memorable.

Check these out:

  • Pabasa ng Pasyon

The Pabasa ng Pasyon, a continuous chanting of the “Pasyon,” an early 16th-century epic poem about the life, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is commonly practiced in the provinces such as in Liliw, Laguna, and Cuenca, Batangas. A group of devoted elderly people gathers to take turns in chanting the “Pasyon’s” verses to fulfill a personal panata (vow). Done at home or in a chapel, the chants are performed a cappella or with the accompaniment of musical instruments.

If you plan to visit Laguna and Batangas, you may opt to stay at these places:

Hotel Resort for Rent in Bay, Laguna

One-Bedroom House for Rent in Nasugbu, Batangas

Two-Bedroom Condo for Rent in Nasugbu, Batangas

  • Visita Iglesia

The Visita Iglesia encourages religious devotees to visit seven or 14 churches either on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday to recite the Stations of the Cross.  For Overseas Filipinos and for those who are confined to bed because of illness, the Visita Iglesia can now be done online via VisitaIglesia.net.

If you plan to physically visit churches in Manila, for instance, you may consider renting these homes:

Condo for Rent in Pasay City

Bed space for Rent in Mandaluyong City

Serviced Residence for Rent in Pasig City

  • Senakulo

Organized by local churches, the senakulo is a stage play about the last days of Jesus Christ: His suffering, sacrifice, and death.  Community actors, such as the ones based in Bohol or Cebu, usually perform in the senakulo.

When in Bohol or Cebu, you may want to check out these places to stay:

Room for Rent in Panglao, Bohol

Room for Rent in Mandaue, Cebu

Two-Bedroom House and Lot for Rent in Panglao, Bohol

  • Moriones Festival

The Moriones is an annual festival in Marinduque, where hundreds of participants wear colorful Roman costumes, painted masks, and helmets. The festival reenacts the life story of Saint Longinus, who was the centurion said to be present during the Crucifixion of Christ.

  • Cutud Crucifixions/Flagellants or Penitensya

In Cutud, San Fernando, Pampanga, some religious devotees are willing to be crucified to reenact the passion and death of Christ.  They do it to fulfill their personal panata (vows) and to ask God’s forgiveness for all the sins they committed. This odd practice has become too popular; many foreigners flock to Cutud to bear witness of the crucifixions.  The more adventurous travelers even volunteer to be crucified.

Flagellants or Penitensya, on the other hand, are the extreme acts of religious devotees who mortify their own flesh by whipping themselves or carrying a heavy wooden cross while roaming the streets.

If you happen to be in Pampanga, check out this house for rent:

One-Bedroom House for Rent in Angeles City, Pampanga

  • Salubong

The salubong, which commemorates how the Virgin Mary met her risen Son, Jesus, in the morning of Easter, features statues of the Mary and Jesus in a pre-dawn procession.  When the procession reaches the churchyard, a little girl dressed as an angel will remove the black mourning veil of the Holy Mother

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