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Philippine Scene # 5 - The Holy Week

Updated on April 8, 2012

My observations

The Holy Week of 2012 here in the Philippines started last April 1st or Palm Sunday.

I was very busy fencing our backyard in the province (Camarines Sur, Bicol) and I don't have time to observe the blessing of the palm leaves, although some may even use coconut leaves if palm tree is not available in the vicinity.

I went back to Manila on Tuesday, making it easy to travel with a discounted fare courtesy of the bus driver (who's my cousin) and the free food at the food court.

These days, I didn't have much time to observe such religious activities of the Catholic church, since I am limiting myself to stick at what is written in the Holy Bible.

Since, I was invited last Thursday to take pictures and video the 'Pabasa' or the reading of the Life of Christ -The Passion of Christ through hymns, I still admire the singing of 'Pasyon'. Elders and young enthusiasts sang alternately with various tunes that will bring you back in time with Jesus Christ - His life on Earth and how He fulfilled the prophecies on the Holy Book and God's promise to save us from sins, through his only Begotten Son (John 3:16) in order for us to have eternal life.

Add to the fact that it's summer here in the country and special holiday, most of the workers from Manila went back to their provinces to have family reunions (with the inclusion of religious activities, like Pabasa or Pasyon, the Visita Altares or Via Cruxis or church visitations or Alay-Lakad as in Penitential Walk and of course abstinence from meat foods) and going to local beaches for a cold swim.

Holy Week is also the time to commune ourselves whether in the church we belong, whatever it is, and have a recollection on what we've done to fulfill our duties as Christians.

As Brother Ely Soriano of the Dating Daan (Old Way) quipped, it is not by faith alone that we should follow our obligations as believers of Jesus Christ and the Father Almighty

It should be coupled with Hope and Love that we should share to all our brethren or brothers as we encourage them to go back to the right path that will lead to the salvation of our souls.

Note: The video included is an edited version of the PABASA 2012 videoed and compiled by this hubber.

PABASA 2012 c/o MrMusicman1971

Passion of Christ - in Filipino version (Photo by Travel Man)
Passion of Christ - in Filipino version (Photo by Travel Man)
Singing the Pasyon (Photo by Travel Man)
Singing the Pasyon (Photo by Travel Man)
Photo Page from the book (Photo by Travel Man)
Photo Page from the book (Photo by Travel Man)
Elderly men outside the home where the Pasyon ni Kristo is being sung (Photo by Travel Man)
Elderly men outside the home where the Pasyon ni Kristo is being sung (Photo by Travel Man)

Holy Week

Holy Week in Christianity is the last week of Lent season and before the Easter Sunday. It includes the religious holidays of Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Easter Sunday is not included.

In Eastern Orthodox tradition, Holy Week starts on Lazarus Saturday, before Palm Sunday.

Meanwhile, Easter Sunday doesn't mean the egg-hunt or decorative eggs that we used to find during that day, reliving the rise of Christ from the Dead after three days. It also the start of Eastertide or Great Fifty Days of Jesus, his last days on Earth, until the Pentecost Sunday or His Ascension to Heaven.

Here in the Philippines, it is called Semana Santa, as influenced by the Spanish colonizers.

Up to these days, we can see people with 'Panata' or pledges (promises), re-enacting the Christ's Crucifixion. Although, it's prohibited by the Catholic church and other protestant churches don't observe it, still, some are brave enough to fulfill that ordeal.

Much more, some men and women with masks or cloths covering their faces slapping their backs with thorns (or to that effects) in order to show that they're repenting for the sins they've committed.

I still remember seeing those men re-enacting the Life of Christ on the streets, acted by theater artists or popular showbiz people.

The youth these days are more on Alay-Lakad (Offered-Walk), like the Via Cruxis or Visita Altares or church visitations, guiding them to the chronological account of Christ's life on Earth.

Here at Don Galo, Paranaque, Philippines, I've been able to witness the Easter Sunday celebration of Bati-Bati or Greetings - showcasing teenage girls in street dancing with the accompaniment of the band and the parade of icons of the Risen Christ.

(Note: With personal opinion and writings by travel_man1971 aka Ireno Alcala, April 08, 2012)

Bati-Bati Street Dance or Greetings Dance during  Easter Sunday @ Barangay Don Galo, Paranaque City, Manila, Philippines (Photo by Travel Man)
Bati-Bati Street Dance or Greetings Dance during Easter Sunday @ Barangay Don Galo, Paranaque City, Manila, Philippines (Photo by Travel Man)

BATI-BATI Easter Sunday Dance @ Don Galo c/o MrMusicman1971


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    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @earthbound1974: Passion of Christ depicts His last days on Earth.

      Singing the 'Pasyon' is always the dominant scene during Holy Week in the country.

      All are welcome to join the chorus, if you want to share your singing voice.

      I'm sure next year, you'll be ready.

    • earthbound1974 profile image


      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Wow, this is awesome! I haven't experience singing the Passion of Christ ( I am tempted to do) because I'm afraid I will be out of tune.

      Thanks for posting!


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