Holy Week in the Philippines

Majority of the Filipinos are Catholics and one of the most important religious season for us is Lent. From what I can recall since I have been living in the same neighborhood throughout my life, we observe Holy Week by having Pasyon (melodic narration of Biblical stories of the life of Christ), Senakulo (theatrical interpretation of Biblical scenes), Visita Iglesia (praying of the Stations of the Cross in about seven churches) and Processions.

One of the highlights of the Holy Week during Good Friday in our neighborhood is the procession of different life-sized religious images owned by various families, which are carried and paraded through the streets, followed by priests and other church servants while praying the rosary.

Holy Week has a very somber mood to mourn for the death of Christ.  During Holy Thursday and Good Friday, most of the establishments are closed down and majority of the population do not have work.

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By Easter Sunday, we have Salubong which depicts the reunion of Christ and Mother Mary.  There are two processions which are gender segregated, male worshipers for Christ and female worshipers for Mother Mary, which meet at a designated area. This is followed by unveiling of Mother Mary’s black cloak by a girl dressed as an angel to signify the end of grieving because Christ had been resurrected.

Being a Catholic-dominated country such as the Philippines, various religious events had been observed in our country for centuries and they play a very important role in our faith and culture. Although I should be used to these things by now, I still find it very interesting and engaging at how devoted most Filipinos are with their religion.  Curiosity had opened my mind about other religions too so during my travels, I have also visited other places of worship in the Philippines and other countries in Asia too. What are the religious practices in your country and how different it is from ours?

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