Holy Week in the Philippines 2014 – Semana Santa

While eighty-five percent of the population in the country is Catholic, Holy Week in the Philippines is an important event every year. Just like those amazing fiestas every month from the different corners all around its 7,107 islands, Semana Santa will always be a special celebration – a way to remember Christ’s love and sacrifice and his resurrection.


Holy Week 2014 Schedule

April 17 - Maundy Thursday

April 18 - Good Friday

April 19 - Black Saturday

April 20 - Easter Sunday


Holy Week here is highlighted by the Cenakulo and Passion (where people sing Christ’s life and passion) and the Christ’s Crucifixion enactment. There’s a place in my hometown, Pampanga where a few sacrifice to be nailed on the cross as a form of penitence. It’s in Cutud, San Fernando, Pampanga. Of course, everyone has their own way of fasting and abstinence and remembering Christ’s passion. Whilst there’s a long weekend of holiday, some people take the time to spend Holy Week by going to beaches like Boracay to enjoy or to reflect.

Again, I made this hub to share some of Philippines’ Holy Week this 2014. Hope you love the photos. I uploaded some pics from the usual procession we attend every year. Looking forward to upload the photos from our Bisita Iglesia in my new website.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tried to capture the saints with my cam before they've been prepared for the Holy Week processionThere are 30 plus life size saint statues from this year's procession As you notice in this picture, it's already almost night timeHow fabulous and beautiful these Saints are.Yes, we walk about 3 kilometers with lighted candles with the Saints and Jesus' carriage...Inside the parish church in my hometown Apalit, Pampanga. In this photo, the people fall in line to kiss Jesus Christ
Tried to capture the saints with my cam before they've been prepared for the Holy Week procession
Tried to capture the saints with my cam before they've been prepared for the Holy Week procession
There are 30 plus life size saint statues from this year's procession
There are 30 plus life size saint statues from this year's procession
As you notice in this picture, it's already almost night time
As you notice in this picture, it's already almost night time
How fabulous and beautiful these Saints are.
How fabulous and beautiful these Saints are.
Yes, we walk about 3 kilometers with lighted candles with the Saints and Jesus' carriage...
Yes, we walk about 3 kilometers with lighted candles with the Saints and Jesus' carriage...
Inside the parish church in my hometown Apalit, Pampanga. In this photo, the people fall in line to kiss Jesus Christ
Inside the parish church in my hometown Apalit, Pampanga. In this photo, the people fall in line to kiss Jesus Christ

This is the statue of the dead Christ, known as the Santo Entierro, on a decorated "Calandra", funeral carriage. Usually it’s the second to the last line of the procession. There were around 30 saints and statues from the convoy and the last one will always be the Mater Dolorosa.

The life-size Saint statues are maybe as much as older as this beautiful ancestral house. Always love seeing vintage houses like this one as we walk along with the procession. This house was built during the Spanish times in the Philippines. Probably around three hundred years old or more. My sister asked me if I could sleep here one night alone for five thousand. Could you?

People singing the Pasyon
People singing the Pasyon

This is the book called Pasyon, (Passion) it’s a lyrical narrative poem about Jesus' life and passion. The words are sung by devotees, continuously, day and night, and usually before Maundy Thursday. This one is so old, probably hundreds of years already and is written in Kapampangan dialect.

This one was just one from the number of people who have their own way of sacrifice, expressions of penance, in fulfillment of a vow, or in thanksgiving for a granted request. Some people like I said have themselves nailed on the cross during Good Friday, at three o’clock in the afternoon (the time Jesus is traditionally believed to have died). I could have uploaded more related photos but due to moderation, I haven’t done it as they are so bloody.


Following these days will be Black Saturday and the happiest day, the Easter Sunday. The Lenten Season is indeed a meaningful celebration as a Filipino and as a Catholic. Those who have gone abroad always miss the feeling of celebrating Holy Week here. I hope you have enjoyed this hub and the pictures. Till next time.

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Comments 14 comments

Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

Drink your coffee and have a peaceful and blessed Semana Santa,twentyfive.;)


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 5 years ago from san diego calif

twentyfive this was awesome ! Rated way up ! I would press the up button more times if I could.Thank you for the insight into your culture. I am catholic too and I just wanted to wish you a very Happy Easter on this holy weekend. God Bless You.


twentyfive profile image

twentyfive 5 years ago Author

Thanks Prof :) Happy Easter!

Oh thanks so much for the votes Tony :) Happy Easter!


justom profile image

justom 5 years ago from 41042

I tend to stay out of everyone's religious beliefs twentyfive but this is a great hub about your celebration. Peace and Happy Easter!! Tom


Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 5 years ago

Wow, thank you for sharing. It's such a huge event in Philipines. Do people working abroad come back just for this celebration ?

And I am really surprised to read that in Pampanga, a few sacrifice to be nailed on the cross. Is that widely accepted there ?

The photos are awesome ! Voted up for sure !


Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 5 years ago

And not forgetting to wish you a Happy Easter Day !


Astra Nomik profile image

Astra Nomik 5 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

Happy Easter Holiday and season Fehl. Great hub and photos too. Looks amazing. Five thousand for one night? OMGosh, is that Pesos or Dollars? My purse just screamed and ran under the bed. LOL. :D


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi twentyfive, thank you for sharing all this awesome information, i never knew all this . Loved all the pictures to !

Awesome and vote up !!!


Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 5 years ago from New Jersey

Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures of the celebration! Happy Easter!


twentyfive profile image

twentyfive 5 years ago Author

Thank you Justom :) Happy Easter my friend.

Hi Ingenira! Yes, usually people abroad come back here to spend the Holy Week. Lots of foreigners come here, too to witness the crucifixion.. Well, the Church does not endorse such events. This is a sample video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmlsLgEsb_c&feature...

Holy Week re-enactment of the passion and death of Christ and takes place in an open field on the outskirts of San Fernando City, Pampanga in the Philippines. Penitents (mostly men, although there were rare instances of women) are nailed to a cross using 5 cm stainless steel nails. The Catholic Church does not sanction the crucifixions and does not endorse them, however, thousands still descend to Pampanga to watch these rites being performed for the past decades. Whilst San Pedro Cutud is the most famous (and prominently displayed on foreign and local media) there are also two other smaller sites within the vicinity of the city that perform similar activities. Penitents whipping themselves and street-plays are are also widespread in the streets of the city.

Happy Easter too! :)

Hi Princess Astra! :) Thanks. Happy Easter to you too :) LOL Yeah, pesos only. I don't think I could do the dare even if it's in dollars hehe Can you do it? LOL

Hi Kash! It's a pleasure. Thanks for voting up :) You're awesome!

Hi Jean! Happy Easter :)


Betty Johansen profile image

Betty Johansen 5 years ago

How tragic that some people don't understand that Jesus was crucified so we don't have to be. The Church, wisely, understands and does not endorse these acts. May God bring understanding to the hearts of those who would put themselves through such a horrendous ordeal.

Thank you for this fascinating information and the beautiful photos.


twentyfive profile image

twentyfive 5 years ago Author

I'm hoping the same Betty. God bless. :)


IndoVillas 5 years ago

Been to the Philippines and happen to be in this season, a lot of religious procession and practices are going on around especially the provinces.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

Semana Santa very similar in parts of Spain , especially Canary Islands , where l lived fr 20 years.

They work hard at making everything so beautiful with flowers and more flowers.

Thanks for this. .........

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