Spend Holy Week in the Philippines

Edited by Christian, Charmed, Rose B, Lynn and 6 others

For Catholics Holy Week is a time of repentance and renewal of faith. Our Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross to save us from our sins. His passion, death and resurrection are proof how the Father loves us. In the Island of Marinduque, Philippines a festival known as Moriones Festival is celebrated to commemorate the passion and life of our Lord. A tradition that have been annually practiced for over hundreds of years, men, women and even children participates in this festival by wearing a mask, customized body armor with their wooden lance and sword. Morion means "mask" or "visor," a Roman armor which covers the face. The replicated Roman soldiers are represented by local folks who wear a wooden mask and a set of colorful and artistic armor, fierce-looking mask and costumes that scares children while they are walking, the identity of a Morion is hidden behind their mask and even their relatives cannot recognize them.

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Morion 3.jpg

Photo by: Joel H. Garcia

Morion 4.jpg

Photo by: Joel H. Garcia

Morion 2.jpg

Photo by: Joel H. Garcia

Morion 6.jpg

Photo by: Joel H. Garcia

Heavy armor, suffocating mask and walking under the heat of the sun is a way of Morion penance. They make a vow for them to wear this mask in a certain year. This tradition originated in the town of the Mogpog circa 1880s and started by Fr. Dionisio Santiago, the local priest that time. A stage play called "Sinakulo"is also part of the celebrations; it is the story of Christ life, passion, death and resurrection.

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Photo by: Joel H. Garcia

Sinakulo 2.jpg

Photo by: Joel H. Garcia The Pugutan (beheading) is the one major scene of the festival, where the beheading of St. Longinus, a one eye blind Roman centurion. His blind eye was cured when a drop of blood fell on his eye after piercing the side of Jesus Christ. Pontious Pilate ordered to capture and behead him to stop spreading the news of resurrection of Jesus.

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Photo by: Joel H. Garcia

Longino hide and run in mud, rivers to escape from morons who want to catch him. Once the crowd saw Longino coming it became more fun because of mud on his body that will touch your clothes if you do not avoid him. To add more fun to the activity, the Longino used to run in the middle of the audience. He is captured two times but able to escape, but on the third time he faces his death at the hand of the executioner.

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A new Holy Week experience awaits if you visit Marinduque, Philippines

How to go to Marinduque, Philippines

From Manila, you may ride in a bus to Dalahican Port of Lucena City (approximately 3-4 hours travel). Trips are available at the following terminals:

 JAM Liner:
 Cubao Terminal
 831 EDSA, Kamuning,
 Brgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City
 Buendia Terminal
 2124 Taft Avenue,Pasay City
 JAC Liner:
 Buendia Terminal
 Donada st. cor Buendia, Pasay City 
 Kamias Terminal
 2 Mapagmahal St. Bgy. Pinyahan, cor Edsa, Quezon City

On Dalahican port a RORO (Roll on Roll off) ship will bring you on the island of Marinduque, 3-3 and 1/2 hour sea travel before you reach the Balanacan or Cawit port of Marinduque.

Local jeepneys will bring you to your destinations from the port.

For flights inquiry and booking ZEST AIR has their direct flight from Manila to Marinduque. For more information visit www.zestair.com.ph


When is it celebrated (what date)

Holy Week has no specific date when it is celebrated, but it is after about 40 days from the celebration of Ash Wednesday, (the week before the Easter Sunday). It is celebrated in the Philippines at a movable date, depending on the Catholic Church calendar. The start of the Holy Week celebration, which is Palm Sunday, is the sixth Sunday after Ash Wednesday and ends at Easter Sunday. In 2013, Holy Week was celebrated last March 24-30.

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  1. 1
    In 2014, Holy Week will be April 13 to 19.
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  2. 2
    In 2015, Holy Week will be March 29 to April 4.
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  3. 3
    In 2016, Holy Week will be March 20 to 26.
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Questions and Answers

When is the Philippines Holy Week 2014, and what special is planned for this year?

Holy Week in the Philippines in the year 2014 will be on April 13-19.

  • April 13, 2014 (Palm Sunday), a day when carrying leaves, also called "palaspas", is a custom that will begin the celebration. The palaspas will be blessed by the priest during mass.
  • April 14, 2014, is called Holy Monday, when "pagbasa ng pasyon" begin. Stating the story of life of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is celebrated as a commemoration for the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • April 15, 2014, will be Holy Tuesday, the second day of commemoration for the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • April 16, 2014, is referred to as Spy Wednesday, a day to reflect on the betrayal of Judas Iscariot of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
  • April 17, 2014, will be Maundy Thursday, Filipino do Bisita Iglesia or church visit day. People of Faith visit different churches and pray for the Station of the Cross. It is also the last day of mass before celebrating Easter.
  • Good Friday will be on April 18, 2014. This day will be kept silent. You can't hear any sounds from the bell of a church because on this day there will not be a mass.
  • April 19, 2014, is Black Saturday. This is the last day of commemorating the death of Jesus Christ. It is the last the day of Holy Week.
  • Easter Sunday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from death. Filipino commemorate with "Salubong" in where a large statue of Jesus and His mother Maria are brought in the parade for the procession to show the first meeting of Jesus and Mary after Jesus death.
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Most of the Filipino plan to celebrate their Holy Week with their loved ones. They go to church together and make sacrifices, like what Jesus did - sacrifices like walking with a cross on their shoulders, hitting themselves with palaspas, and avoiding eating meat. Others choose to climb a mountain as a sacrifice, but some choose to go in a beach and rather enjoy their Holy Week vacation.

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Categories : Travel & Leisure

Recent edits by: Eng, Mhaine Arenas, Maria Quinney

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