Wednesday, March 11, 2015

5 of Luzon's Best Places to Celebrate the Holy Week

Holy Week is fast approaching and this year, Filipinos can enjoy a break from work starting on Maundy Thursday on April 2, 2015.

Christians all over the Philippines celebrate the Holy Week to remember the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the salvation of mankind and reenactments of His final days are held all over the country. Mahal na Araw celebrations are different in many parts of the country and some just stand out from the rest.

So get your maps ready, make sure your car insurance documents are in the glove compartment, check the expiry on your driver’s license, and fill up the gas tank because we’re going on a road trip to see some of the best places in Luzon to take part in Holy Week celebrations.

1. “Maleldo” in San Fernando, Pampanga

San Fernando, Pampanga is one of the most popular Holy Week destinations in the Philippines because this is where you can see devotees actually crucify themselves to a cross. There are several sites where you can see the crucifixion including San Juan and Sta. Lucia but San Fernando’s Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) is best seen in barangay San Pedro Cutud where it all started in 1962. You can also see penitents who carry wooden crosses and those who whip themselves during Holy Week.

2. Moriones in Marinduque

You’ll have to ride a RoRo if you want to drive all the way to Marinduque but making the trip during Holy Week gives you the chance to experience the vibrant Moriones Festival.  Men and women wear “Morion” masks to depict Roman soldiers who are part of the Passion of the Christ story. Longinus, the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus’ side while he was on the cross, takes center stage in the Moriones festival.

3. “Pagpapako” in Baler, Aurora

Photo credit: Gerard Castaneda via https://flic.kr/p/7QBALp
Bloody masked penitents wearing conical headdresses and garbed in dried banana leaves are some of the sights that I saw when I went to Baler, Aurora for Good Friday a few years back. “Pagpapako” is also celebrated at a hilltop of Ermita Hill and you can also catch a procession of different patron saints at Baler. While you’re at Baler, you can take surfing lessons and visit the Baler Museum. There are several beach-side resorts that you can stay at but book early as these can fill up easily.

4. Angono, Rizal, Lucban

If driving far is not an option for you, you can still join the Holy Week celebrations at Angono, Rizal. You can view the “Vigilia na Muling Pagkabuhay” at their church on Black Saturday. For Easter Sunday, young ladies called “Kapitana” and “Tenyenta” dance to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.

If you still have time, you can ask the locals to point you to the direction of the Angono Caves where you can see the Angono Petroglyphs, which date back to 5,000 years ago. Angono is known for its art scene and you can visit the Balaw-Balaw gallery and restaurant to view their large collection of paintings and sculptures.

5. Station of the Cross at the Kamay ni Hesus Shrine in Lucban

Going to different churches for Visita Iglesia is part of the Holy Week tradition for many Pinoys. Head south to Lucban, Quezon and you could visit several churches along the way. You could also visit the Kamay ni Hesus Shrine in Lucban as one of your stops, which also has a station of the cross.

There are 290 + steps to the top of the hill where a 50-foot statue of the Ascending Christ. You’ll be rewarded with a fantastic view once you reach the top of the hill.

Planning to take a long drive to any of these places? Make sure your car is covered by insurance so you’re protected from any unexpected occurrence. Review your car insurance policy and see if you’re adequately covered.

Note: This article is a guest post contributed by Kyle Kam. Additionally, the attached photo was submitted for reference. Please check below information about the author.

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1 comment:

  1. A heart-shaped island in the Southern Tagalog Region is a certified tourism magnet come the Lenten Season. The province has been making waves in the travel sector behind a colorful event called the Moriones Festival.

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