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Holy Week in the Philippines (Siniloan, Laguna)

In the Philippines, there are some places where a re-enactment of Jesus' triumphal entry occurs. The Catholic priest rides a horse and is surrounded by the congregation, bearing palms. Sometimes women spread large cloths or aprons along the procession route. Palm branches, called palaspas, are taken home after the Mass and are hung beside, on or above doorways and windows.

After the blessing of the palm branches, the people put the palm branches in front of their house. Although the real objective of placing the leaves in front of houses is to welcome Jesus Christ, some Filipinos say that the palm leaves turn away evil spirits.

In the predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines, the day is commemorated with street processions, the Way of the Cross, and a Passion play called the Senakulo. The Church keeps the day solemn by not tolling the church bells, and no Mass will be celebrated.

The Catholic Church treats Good Friday as a fast day, which in the Latin Rite of the Church is understood as having only one full meal (but smaller than a regular meal) and two collations (a smaller repast, two of which together do not equal one full meal) and on which the faithful abstain from eating meat. In countries where Good Friday is not a day of rest from work, the afternoon liturgical service is usually put off until a few hours after the recommended time of 3 p.m.

The Apostles

The Nazarene

The Crucifix

The Lamentation (La Pietà)

John the Apostle and Evangelist

Santo Entierro Procession (Holy Burial)

After three o'clock in the afternoon of Good Friday (the time at which Jesus is traditionally believed to have died), noise is discouraged, some radio and television stations sign off, businesses close, and the faithful are urged to keep a very solemn and prayerful disposition through to Easter Sunday. Yet other television networks are still on air making way for some religious programming related to the solemn celebration.

Our Lady of Sorrows ("Mater Dolorosa", "Ina ng Awa")

Flagellation (Paghahampas)

The processions include devotees (termed Moriones) who self-flagellate and sometimes even have themselves nailed to crosses as expressions of penance despite health issues and strong disapproval from the Church.

Photo Credits:

Courtesy of Michelle Valmonte Jasa and Anthony Garcia


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