I was expecting a burst of colors at the church ground that afternoon — colors of the flowering kind from the masitas (ornamental plants) and tropical trees blooming this time of the year at the church patio grounds.
The burst of colors was there but of a different kind. Lo and behold, the newly painted outside retablo altars at the station of the cross with its vivid and vibrant colors now dot the perimeter of the church yard just in time for the Lenten season!
What a colorful paint retouch! The local artist with his byline at the first and last station of the cross altars seemed to be in his colorful self during the painting retouch work. Same retouching style extends to the adjacent grotto (below photo) with colors of vibrant red, yellow and blue.
I can’t tell whether this is some kind of folk art or bordering on the kitsch. But what calmed me down was the thought that a local artist did the job. This means this is an authentic rendering of the stations of the cross as interpreted by a local folk artist.
The first Sunday of Lent in Bulusan was attended by mostly children and local parishioners from around the Poblacion and nearby villages. Children with their favorite playmates grouped together in clusters waiting for the ‘istasyon’ ( station’s prayers) after the mass and obviously enjoying the waiting time as bonding and playing time.
Istasyon (Stations of the cross prayers) will cover the 14 newly painted stations of the cross outdoor altars and will be repeated for the next Sundays of the season of Lent.
The station of the cross prayers went smoothly that Sunday afternoon though lengthy as expected. The prayers for the complete set of the 14 station altars could last for almost an hour. So I went home late again but not until I was able to take some snaps of local children playing inside the sprawling yard with the belfry as backdrop.
Photos: Alma P. Gamil