Photo by Toby Jamilla
This year Holy Week Festival is better than last year. There is only one Battle of the Moriones pageant that will be in Santa Cruz this afternoon. Last year there were two Battle of the Moriones shows, one in Boac and one in Santa Cruz sponsored by two political rivals. This year it appears that politics is now set aside just for this week. Because the Beach House is full I did not have the time to take pictures of the parade and religious procession. However based on the program schedule, this year celebration is about the same as last year with the exception of more foreign tourists. All the hotels and resorts are fully booked and the restaurants are busy. Thanks to the festival, the hotel and resort owners, food and transportation services are busy, hopefully earned enough to pay for taxes and expenses for the whole year. Below is an article I posted in my blog in 2008.
There are several excellent articles in the web discussing the Moriones Festival. This one is a brief summary of the festival written by Zenaida Serrano of Buenavista.
At the end of this article, I will list two photo blogs worth reading. Incidentally, these two blogs are in the top ten blog sites in the Philippines on my reading list.
Moriones Festival, Marinduque, Philippines
One of the most colorful festivals celebrated in the island of Marinduque is the Moriones Festival. Morion means "mask" or "visor," a part of the medieval Roman armor which covers the face. Moriones, on the other hand, refers to the masked and costumed penitents who march around the town for seven days searching for Longinus. This week-long celebration starts on Holy Monday and culminates on Easter Sunday when the story of Longinus is reenacted in pantomime. This is a folk-religious festival that re-enacts the story of Longinus, a Roman centurion who was blind in one eye.
Longinus Legend has it that Longinus pierced the side of the crucified Christ. The blood that spurted forth touched his blind eye and fully restored his sight. This miracle converted Longinus to Christianity and earned the ire of his fellow centurions. The re-enactment reaches its climax when Longinus is caught and beheaded.
The festival is characterized by colorful Roman costumes, painted masks and helmets, and brightly-colored tunics. The towns of Boac, Gasan, Santa Cruz, Buenavista and Mogpog in the island of Marinduque become one gigantic stage.
The observances form part of the Lenten celebrations of Marinduque. The various towns also hold the unique tradition of the Pabasa or the recitation of Christ's passion in verse. The Via Crucis is also reenacted and flagellants, known as Antipos, inflict suffering upon themselves as a form of atonement. After three o'clock on Good Friday afternoon, the Santo Sepulcro is observed, whereby old women exchange verses based on the Bible as they stand in wake of the dead Christ. Did you know that Morion means mask, which is part of the medieval Roman centurion’s helmet. Moriones are the masked penitents who take part in the reenactment of the legend of Longinus, and Passion of the Christ.
Comment: This pageantry and religious revelry on Easter Week is a must for tourist to see and participate. The whole week of celebration is climaxed with "Street Dancing" (like the New Orleans, Mardi Gras) in Gasan and a colorful Easter Parade in Boac.
I hope you find this video and short summary of the Moriones Festival and Holy Week Celebration informative.
Favorite Blog Sites on Moriones Festival
2. http://my_sarisari_store.type/moriones festival
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If this is your first visit, welcome! This site is devoted to my life experiences as a Filipino-American who immigrated from the Philippines to the United States in 1960. I came to the US as a graduate student when I was 26 years old. I am now in my early-80's and thanks God for his blessings, I have four successful and professional children and six grandchildren here in the US. My wife and I had been enjoying the snow bird lifestyle between US and Philippines after my retirement from USFDA in 2002. Please do not forget to read the latest national and International News in this site . I have also posted some of my favorite Filipino and American dishes and recipes in this site. Some of the photos and videos in this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing on your copyrights. Cheers!