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Snippets from Bulusan Semana Santa 2014 (1)

Bulusan Holy Week processions

Santa Marta during the first day of the Semana Santa 2014 in Bulusan

Although dubbed as Holy Parade by a non-Filipino author, Holy Week procession to Bulusanons will never be a parade. Parades are for fiestas while Holy Week processions of Santos/Santas will always be identified with solemnity and sacredness. The two-line row procession is seldom followed but those who join the procession are aware that the procession is a way of ‘penitensiya’ – an expression of devotion and faith.

My neighbor Jovit (extreme left of photo) is a dedicated carer of two Santas (Santa Veronica and Santa Marta) whose images were already under the care of their family long before he was born.

My neighbor’s grandson, Jovit (extreme left of photo in pink shirt), is a dedicated carer of two Santas (Santa Veronica and Santa Marta, in pink and green gown) whose images were already under the care of their family long before he was born.

One recent development of the Bulusan’s Holy Week processions was the shifting of some Santos/Santas from andas to carrozas. Andas is the carved base supporting the santo/santa that is carried on the shoulders of devotees, usually local volunteers during the entire Holy week processions. The carrozas have the same carved santo base, these are however pulled by assistants as it rolls down the streets during the procession proper. Assistants during the recent processions of Palm Sunday and Holy Wednesday  until Good Friday were wearing uniform t-shirts with the color theme of the day.

From andas to carroza. Not long ago Santas and Santos were mostly carried on the shoulder by men.

From andas to carroza. Not so long ago Santas and Santos were mostly carried on the shoulder by men.

During the processions the parishioners and worshipers are free to select the image of the santos/santas she/he will follow in the procession line. Holding lighted candles throughout the procession is customarily done in Bulusan. Those watching at home along the procession route have lighted candles on their windows and front doors that add to the solemnity of the event. I opted to follow the Dolorosa because of the  sayos (women wearing long black habit) praying the Rosary.

Santa Marta radiates beauty in another exquisite gown creation.

Santa Marta radiates beauty in another exquisite gown creation by Jovit.

As usual, my neighbor’s Santas (Santa Veronica and Santa Marta) were the most stylish. Definitely not kitsch. My neighbor’s santas were always exquisitely dressed but never ostentatious. Recycling and mix matching with the right accessories were tastefully done inch by inch to the last detail. Fine jewelries adorned  both santas. Surprisingly, these haute couture gowns and embellishments did not distract the real essence of the santas role in the semana santa celebrations.

I grew up with the santas already there in our neighborhood, and I noticed that the santas were becoming more radiant with beauty as the years pass. Kudos to Joesie Halim Jaymalin  my neighbor’s grandson – a Manila based artist who is the current carer of the santas.

Santa Marta and Santa Veronica return home to our neighbor's house after the Easter mass.

Santa Marta and Santa Veronica return home to our neighbor’s house after the Easter mass. Shown here for final viewing along the street in Poblacion Central.

Semana Santa or Holy Week is simply referred to as “Kamahalan” in Bulusan which literally translates to ‘highness.’ No wonder why all the santas and santos are wearing royal garb during  Holy Week.

You may visit also my last year’s Semana Santa notes here:

http://bulusanvirtualtour.blogspot.com/2013/03/santa-marta-beautiful-act-of-devotion.html

Photos: Alma P. Gamil

Bulusan, Sorsogon, Philippines

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4 thoughts on “Snippets from Bulusan Semana Santa 2014 (1)

  1. Thanks you so much Manay Alma you really made my day upon reading your article as in nakakawala ng pagod, God Reward You. My best Regard!

    • Hi joevit. Next year uli, abangan ko uli mga santa…thanks for adding your touch of elegance in Bulusan’s Kamahalan. Keep up the good work!
      Thanks too for the God Reward You message. Dios Mabalos!

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