DID YOU KNOW: 5 Holy Week Traditions in the Philippines | Knowledge Channel

DID YOU KNOW: 5 Holy Week Traditions in the Philippines 


Filipinos usually spend the Holy Week or Semana Santa with their families. That’s why aside from being a time for reflection and penance, it is also an opportunity to create memories, strengthen family bonds, and pass on traditions. Here are five things you can observe during this solemn week: 


  1. Pabasa ng Pasyon  

The Pabasa is a poetic narration of Christ's passion and death. Devotees usually take turns singing verses usually in a makeshift altar in front of the church or on its courtyard. This goes on for several hours or even days for some communities. It is a way of expressing devotion to Christ and seeking forgiveness for sins. 


  1. Penitensya 

Penitensya is a tradition performed through acts of self-flagellation. Devotees reenact Christ’s journey from his carrying of the cross up to his crucifixion. This is continuously observed in some provinces like Pampanga, Bulacan, and Rizal as a way to express faith and seek repentance. 



  1. Senakulo 

The Senakulo is a stage play that depicts the life of Jesus Christ from when he was born up to the time leading to his death. It is usually performed during Maundy Thursday at the town plaza or at the local church as a reminder of the sacrifices made by Jesus.  



  1. Serving of Kordero 

This is a unique Holy Week tradition in Morong, Rizal done to commemorate the Last Supper. The “kordero”, a potato dish shaped like a sheep, is prepared by the whole community and is served to all those who’ll attend the mass on Maundy Thursday.   



  1. Processions  

Processions are one of the oldest Holy Week traditions we have. It is usually done every Holy Wednesday and Good Friday to commemorate the passion and death of Christ. A marching band often accompanies the parade of religious icons on beautiful carrozas.  



These are just some examples of the several interesting ways Filipinos spend Semana Santa. Philippines’ colorful history sure gave birth to a unique blend of Catholic and indigenous traditions. Do you have unique Holy Week traditions in your locality? Share this article with your own story!  


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