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The Pasyón

is a Philippine epic narrative of the life of Jesus Christ, focused on


his Passion, Death, and Resurrection. In stanzas of five lines of eight
syllables each, the standard elements of epic poetry are interwoven with a
colourful, dramatic theme.
The uninterrupted recitation or Pabasa of the whole epic is a
popular Filipino Catholic devotion during the Lenten season, and
particularly during Holy Week.
In 2011, the performing art was cited by the National Commission for
Culture and the Arts as one of the intangible cultural heritage of the
Philippines under the performing arts category that the government may
nominate in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.
The Pasyón is normally heard during Holy Week in the Philippines, where
its recitation is known as the Pabása ("Reading"). The rite can span several
days, extending no later than Black Saturday, but it is often ended on Good
Friday at noon or before 15:00 PHT (GMT+8) – the traditional hour of
Jesus' death on the cross.
Flores de Mayo at Santacruzan

Flores, from Spanish flores or "flowers," also


known as Flores de Mayo (flowers of May),
Flores de Maria (flowers of Mary) or alay
(offering), may refer to the whole Flower
Festival celebrated in the month of May in
honor of the Virgin Mary .

In the Tagalog region, this custom and


celebration started after the proclamation of
the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in
1854 and after the publication circa 1867 of
Mariano Sevilla's translation of the devotional Flores de Maria or Mariquit
na Bulaclac na sa Pagninilaynilay sa Buong Buan nang Mayo ay
Inihahandog nang manga Devoto cay Maria Santisima (The Flowers of
Mary or the Beautiful Flowers that in the Meditations During the Whole
Month of May are Offered by Devotees to Mary the Holiest).

A Santacruzan is a religious-historical beauty pagent held in many cities,


towns and even smll villages throughout the Philippines during the month
of May. One of the most colorful May-time festivals in the Philippines
which depicts the finding of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena, mother of
Constantine the Great. Many movie and television personalities participate
in the events and are featured as major sagalas and escorts.
(http://www.intas-travel.com/incentives/fiesta_floresdemayo.html)

The festivity commemorates the search of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena
(Reina Elena) and her son, the newly converted emperor Constantine. After
the Holy Cross was found in Jerusalem and brought back to rome, there
was a joyful celebration for thanksgiving.
Nine days of prayer (a novena) in honor of the Holy Cross precedes the
Flores de Mayo or Santacruzan. This festival was introduced by the
Spaniards in the Philippines and has since become part of Filipino
traditions identified with youth, love and romance.

The senakulo is a traditional Filipino dramatization of the life and


times of Jesus Christ. Done in singing (pasyon) and recitation, it is
presented in the public squares in many towns, in houses and streets
during the season of Lent.

The senakulo is traditionally performed on a proscenium-type stage


with painted cloth or paper backdrops that are called telon. It takes at
least eight nights - from Palm Sunday to Eastern Sunday - to present
the play. Christ is presented traditionally as meek and humble,
submitting lamb-like to his fate in obedience to authority.

In urban areas, there are developed versions of the senakulo that run
for only one or two hours. They may be presented in different types of
locale: on the traditional stage, on the streets, in a chapel, or out in
the open. Comedy, courtship, and special effects may be
incorporated. Furthermore, modern senakulos tend to focus not on
Christ’s submissiveness, but on his reason and resolve in
courageously standing up for the unfortunate against their
oppressors, suggesting how current problems may be resolved.

Street senakulos is another form of penance where the people are


walking with the procession. People near the church wait eagerly to
witness the reenactment. Locals act as Roman soldiers with their
menacingly painted masks and armors, pounding on doors to search
for Jesus. Most anticipated among the episodes are the judgment of
Jesus, the Crucifixion and His Seven Last Words. Spectators may
range from devotees to the merely curious or tourist alike. For some,
it is the time to reflect on the life of Jesus, while others take it as a
chance to spend time with family and friends.
The routine of the reenactment has not changed, but its presentation
is infused with a fresh flavor to reach the modern-world absorbed
consciousness of the new generation.