Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Semana Santa- Baliuag, Bulacan

PINOY PILGRIMS


From Pilgrimage in Baliuag, Bulacan

Being hailed as the only Christian/Catholic Country in Asia, it is not surprising that the Philippines is known worldwide in celebrating every Christian event. It is said that the essence of being a Christian/Catholic is everyone's recognition of the Easter- the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The highlight of this event is the SEMANA SANTA (Holy Week).

From Pilgrimage in Baliuag, Bulacan

The event commences on Palm Sunday- where many Filipinos will go to church bringing their Palaspas- A variety of palm with different shapes and designs. These palm leaves will be blessed by holy water after the celebration of mass. This tradition depicts the joyous entry of Jesus Christ to the Jerusalem.

From Pilgrimage in Baliuag, Bulacan

During Holy Monday up to Holy Wednesday, pilgrims have different religious activities nationwide. Confessions, reflections and visiting old churches are very common. One of the practices out of this festival is the VISITA IGLESIAS- or the traditional visitation of 7 different churches.

From Pilgrimage in Baliuag, Bulacan

The Quiapo Church would most likely in the list. This Century-old structure lies within the very heart of Manila. Home of the Senior Nazareno (the famous miraculous statue of Jesus Christ being celebrated on every 9th of January every year), this church is very accessible to anyone who seeks miracle.

From Pilgrimage in Baliuag, Bulacan

Basilica de San Sebastian or San Sebastian Church- Looking at its Gothic spires, one would not think that San Sebastian is constructed of prefabricated steel. The story goes that the Augustinian Recollect Order, having seen their church thrice leveled to the ground by earthquakes, decided to have the new one cast in steel so that it would endure Manila's temblors.

From Pilgrimage in Baliuag, Bulacan

With its vaulted ceilings, jewel-like stained glass windows and generally romantic air, San Sebastian is understandably a much-favored itinerary in Visita Iglesia and also famous venue for weddings.

From Pilgrimage in Baliuag, Bulacan

The original San Miguel or Saint Michael Church was constructed in 1630s as an act of gratitude by a Spanish governor-general who had miraculously escaped death on a military campaign. The church also ministered to Japanese Christians fleeing persecution under the Tokugawa Shogunate, and since many of these exiles belonged to the samurai, or warrior, class, the church was dedicated to Saint Michael, the dragon-slayer. The present church, notable for the beautiful symmetry of its twin bell towers, follows the mold of European Baroque architecture. Because of its proximity, the church is often associated with Malacanang Palace .

From Pilgrimage in Baliuag, Bulacan

Going back to Baliuag, the very highlight of this town is on Good Friday. Fortunately, I was raised and grew-up on this religious place. Here, we are taught of celebrating this event in not going places to such as popular beaches in the Philippines. We inherited the values of Christian living to reflect and join the Lord in his journey and passions.

From Pilgrimage in Baliuag, Bulacan

Today, Baliuag is now recognized as having the most colorful and longest procession of almost 90 carozas or floats with life-size statue depicting every scene in Jesus Christ's Passion.

From Pilgrimage in Baliuag, Bulacan


Filipinos are known loving to their parents, especially to their mothers, it could not ignore our great devotion to the the Blessed Virgin Mary- the patron Saint of the Philippines. As the whole nation is aware of all the pains she suffered- as Mary- the Virgin, she witnessed all the hardships and compassions of Jesus Christ to mankind.

From Pilgrimage in Baliuag, Bulacan

This float has almost 12 statue-characters from the Holy Book's event. Dressed in bright colors, anyone would agree that these people has a great taste in fashion and arts.

From Pilgrimage in Baliuag, Bulacan
In bigger caroza, it would surely need an assistance from the procession's attendant to clear all the pavements and cliff-hanging branches of trees.

From Pilgrimage in Baliuag, Bulacan

Dominated by the most-of-the-grieving-women characters, many are dressed-up coming from designs in Paris and Italy, first-time visitor will be confused if she/he is Spain or some other part in Europe.

From Pilgrimage in Baliuag, Bulacan
But the true essence of the celebration is not set aside. Reminiscing God's gift to all of us...

From Pilgrimage in Baliuag, Bulacan

...to be a genuinely true Christians that we could share to the whole world.

(if you want to witness this once-a-year festival, you may contact us for your convenience)


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