I am thankful that my weeklong stay in the Philippines coincided with the Holy Week. Our country is among those noted in its observance. In particular, Pampanga, Bantayan Island, Marikina and (some towns) in Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan are known for the procession. The day after my cousin’s wedding was Palm Sunday. And since then, I looked forward to the Holy Wednesday and Good Friday processions. I have missed these for years.
We live near the town’s church. Hence, an hour before the (Friday) procession, we chanced on checking the poons (religious images) in Natividad Street. Most of these were still being prepped up.
At 7:00 PM, the poons were already gathered infront of the church.
Just the same as most of the poons, the sakristans (altar boys) were dressed in black or other color which depicts sadness on a Good Friday.
In our town, there are at least 30 poons joining the procession on a Holy Wednesday and Good Friday. The images, more or less, try to show what transpired from the day Jesus Christ arrived in Jerusalem, presence of apostles, the last supper, his crucifixion, the sadness of the Virgin Mary and the day Jesus Christ’s body was layed in the tomb.
Among the 30 poons, there are specific ones which are supposed to join the procession only on a Holy Wednesday or Good Friday. These three photos in the above collage were taken last Wednesday, the rest were snapped on last Friday.
The order of presentation of the poons may vary from town to town. There is a general conception that Saint Peter (with his chicken) should come first as he is the first saint who would welcome you in the gates of heaven. Some towns decide based on their patron saints.
As mentioned earlier, most of the poons wore a different set of clothing on a Holy Wednesday (e.g. blue, red, etc.) in contrast to Good Friday’s black to convey sadness over Jesus Christ’s death.
In our neighbor town, before the evening procession on a Good Friday, a dapit is being held at 3:00 PM. Only the poon above (laying) and the Pieta or Virgin Mary in black gown are joining the procession. And on Easter Sunday, the salubong is done at 5:00 AM to commemorate and celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection. (I have not witnessed this anymore since I went back here last Saturday night.)
The town’s traditional band plays at the end of the line, followed by the hampas (penitents). The latter joins a Holy Wednesday and/or Good Friday processions, or do their sacrifices on morning of Maundy Thursday and/ or Good Friday. Although it is no longer observed in many provinces/countries, there are still believers in this means of forgiveness of sins. I observed though that there are groups of teenage hampas who seem to do it as a barkada activity or without a solid reason. Some children fear them because of the blood and with the misconception that blood showers from the hampas will transfer the latter’s sins or misdeeds to them.
How and where did you observe the Holy Week?
0 thoughts on “The Procession”
the remembrance of Lent in Pampanga is listed by National Geographic as one of the world’s most sacred and powerful destinations.
The way they observe the Lent in Pampanga is amazing. I wanted to do a sidetrip there at least for the Holy Wednesday since we have relatives there, but too constrained by time. 😦
My bro and I went to the Shrine of Jesus in the Holy Sepulcher (in Landayan, San Pedro, Laguna), St. John the Baptist Church and mahal na Señor (in Calamba city, Laguna) last holy thursday and stayed at home the rest of the holy week.
Your photos are great! Inspired me to visit other churches within Laguna. ^_^
Thanks, Renin. Don’t miss Paete and Pakil churches. Lots of nice churches, actually.
you must have taken hundreds of photos =) holy week was spent just like the other days since it’s not a holiday here in phnom penh. then on sunday we went easter egg hunting in a hotel for my son’s sake =)
Yes, I did. Hahaha. Plus the videos!
I saw your Easter Sunday post. EJ enjoyed the egghunt. 🙂
Hi Wits. We were at Hillsong Church to attend the services (starting from Good Friday, Easter Saturday & Easter Sunday). So inspiring every services they held. Then Today (Easter MOnday) is holiday naman.
wow ang cool nandito ka pala! glad you had a good stay. ako hindi nakaattend ng procession dito last week eh but i super enjoyed the easter mass!
glad you were there with your family. 5am pala ang salubong sa inyo. samin, 12am ang procession tapos dere-derecho na.
I see processions like 4-5 times a year. But it’s like less and less people are interested in it. Hindi na ako ganun ka active pero I still like seeing processions. Kasi it brings people together tapos for a common purpose.
Wow naman, grabe pa rin ang preparasyon talaga sa mga probinsya. Salamat for sharing, I never knew super ginagastusan talaga to ng mga tao. Grabe rin ang dedication nila, nakaka touch naman.
Tourists should visit dito sa Pinas sa Holy Week para makakita talaga sila ng kakaiba!
i missed this experience during the holy week as we spent the weekend in an island. but this reminds me of our experience last year in marinduque. thought there were less images there but we felt the passion.
wow buti ka pa you were able to watch this. hayyy di dumaan sa amin yung prosisyon.
wow, you’re home! good for you. gulat ako sa first shot, bakit may prusisyon na ganun? ayun pala the shot is really taken here.
how’s your staty so far?
The first few shots were taken while the images were being prepped up. 🙂
I can say that I had a great vacation.
Thank you Wits for taking us through the procession. Up north where I grew up (Baguio), these are not really seen, the city just becomes quiet before Easter Sunday. Kaya pag nasa biyahe ako the bus passing by Pampanga and Tarlac on a Holy Week, I get sort of “religiously overwhelmed” seeing processions.
Anyhow, here in Dubai we made it to attend Fr. Tomasito’s great Easter Sunday mass. Have you attended a mass celebrated by him? I hope you had, or can do sometime…
I haven’t met Fr. Tomasito yet. I hope to hear a mass celebrated by him.
what a lovely collection of procession saints! you are indeed blessed to have spent the holy week in the philippines.
Of everything about PI, this is the one I missed the most. I was just telling my husband how wonderfully we observe Good Friday with a procession. My cousin owned the San Juan poon and one time they left the poon in our house so we took over the decorations for the processions.
Glad to know you’re back in ME.
ay, madami din kami kaganapan pag holy week. kaso wala akong peechurs to share!!! waaaahhh…
A procession best exemplifies the Filipino Catholic faith – even in the US, I’ve seen Pinoy organizations organize these solemn rites. But nothing like seeing it best at home!
wow! i’m so glad to hear that you were able to watch the prosisyon. nasa bahay lang ako during the holy week vacation. and on easter sunday, nagsimba lang kaming mag-anak. hindi na nga lang namin naabutan ang salubong kasi around 3am pala ginanap kala namin mga 5am pa.
Thanks for sharing. I’ve been looking for these photos. I’m from pangil, laguna and the owner of San Matias Apostol (the one holding the battled axe and a bible).
You’re welcome. In case you need a high resolution photo of San Matias Apostol and other poons/saints, just let me know and I’ll provide you.
Sure. Thanks. please send the image in this email: email@example.com thank you so much.
The one who is carrying axe and bible is our Poon St. Matias.
malamang halos ganun din sa bulacan kaya lang, di ko na nasisilayan…kada barangay meron poon na inililibot sa buong area.
ganda ng mga picture!
i missed the wednesday procession in paete, the one with the moving saints and dramatizations. the good friday one features the mater dolorosa.
next time you’re there, try to contact me, i’ll show you around my hometown 😛
thanks for sharing your photos. para na ring akong nag-prusisyon. nakaka-miss talaga ang holy week sa pinas.
wow, umuwi ka pala for holy week Jo 😉 i so love watching processions. kaka-miss!
glad to know you were (again) part of the holy week celebration in pinas.
i also grew up with similar santos’ processions every holy wednesdays, good fridays and easter sundays in marikina. these processions have helped me a lot in understanding (somehow) what’s preached in church and what’s written in the bible.
Rach (Heart of Rachel)
It’s great that you were able to witness all that. Wonderful photos!
True. The Philippines has one of the most moving celebration of the Holy Week. Of all the occasions, ito ang lagi kong hinihintay (apart from Christmas, of course!). Napaka-colorful kasi and so full of activities.
I love how you covered the celebration in your hometown. Matagal na rin akong hindi nakaka-join ng Semana Santa procession. I so miss it.
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do u have the line up of the carrozas? may i know? and how did you arrange the carrozas? randomly? tnx! 😀
beautiful images.. where is this procession located?
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