larger than life on good friday

A quiet day at home in Bulacan with family enjoying late lunch and dinner talks with servings of fruits (watermelon, star apples, bananas), “Totsong Bangus” (Milkfish in Fermented Soy Cakes) and “Tortang Talong” (Eggplant Omelette). I was hoping it will rain to somehow quell the heat outside. Strangely, it always rain on Good Friday on my side of town (as it did last night half past midnight).

Good thing it didn’t or I won’t be able to take some photos of the traditional Baliuag Holy Week procession that happens yearly every Holy Wednesday and Good Friday. As a kid I always marveled at the larger than life carrozzas of mostly tableaux from the ministry, passion and death of Christ. Sometimes I join the procession walking behind the float of Maria Salome (a venerated follower of Jesus), lighted candle in hand.

It was already late when I walked out of the house. Caught the row of the statues just around the corner block, missing two-thirds of everything.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve witnessed the procession.  What I do remember is the number of carrozzas at around 60. Tonight, the last count was 93. So it must have been a long time since I did. As usual the production is grand, the generators are noisy, the floats seem to get bigger and bigger. The outlandish garments of the statues are probably more expensive than the camera I used.

8 Responses to “larger than life on good friday”

  1. Dex

    It’s always nice to look back to our roots. I also realize that I too haven’t been participating lately in Church activities. You have a pretty grandiose procession there.

  2. Clementine

    Yes it is. It’s as if the families are competing with each other. But then again my writer friend shared an article about it:

    ” If one observes how the faithful act toward holy images — that tangible representation of the divine — one sees gestures of intimacy similar to those made between lovers: holding the hand, touching the cheek, offering a gift. Dressing up the saintly figure is an act of veneration — it is a ritual in itself, a show of respect, and, yes, devotion.”

    • Dex

      That lady in black (the one with Rose and Cup in her hands), I was really impressed with her facial expression. Looks so real. Your friend is correct. Most so called CHRISTIANS today thinks we are paganists for engaging in such traditions. They just could’nt get the real meaning of these processions. : (

  3. Christine Mazur

    These are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. The statues strongly resemble the carved wooden painted ones in the cathedrals in Spain that are in the cities and towns along the Camino de Santiago de Compostele (Pamplona, Burgos, Leon, Santiago and many more). Some of those – I believe – were made in the 1600s. Many are dressed in fanciful fabric costumes from the era. Some appear garish and overwrought but that’s the art form of that era and that culture.

    • Clementine

      Glad you like them. Too bad I wasn’t able to take photos of the rest. There are more interesting tableux that i missed. Spain is definitely in my “to go” list.

  4. ckrysteen

    ♥ it!…..These are BEAUTIFUL photos =)…. Thanks for sharing….SOME just could’nt get the real meaning of these processions….


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