Thursday, December 04, 2008

Procession of the Dead Christ, Lucban

Here is a video clip of the Good Friday procession of the Santo Entierro (the image of the Dead Christ) in my late paternal grandmother's birthplace of Lucban, Quezon. The image of the Senor is believed to be a powerful miracle worker in the Southern Tagalog region, and 'rivals' Manila's Black Nazarene procession in the fervor and number of its devotees. Most of the devotees are male; at one point, when the image enters the church, one sees a throng of people massing upon the calandra (processional hearse); this is because it is believed that being 'touched' by the Senor could cure one of illnesses, as well as endows one with healing powers. The strange beat one hears in the background is called, I believe, 'palakpak kawayan', that is, clapping designed to emulate the sound of bamboo crashing against each other. If I remember rightly, some of the devotees go about their panatas drunk, despite warnings by the Church.

1 comment:

cyurkanin said...

I lived in the Philippines, Cebu City, when I was younger and I didn't have the wherwithal to realize what it really meant to live in a Catholic country with a Catholic culture. It's almost impossible for Americans to comprehend the difference in worship and in strength of simple belief. There may be sinful actions on the part of individuals (such as drunkness that you mention) just like anywhere that man sets foot, but there's no question as to the sincerity of their faith. It's a great video.

It's interesting that most of the devotees are male. Historically, it's usually women that have kept these types of devotions alive.

The closest I've come in America to what that video shows was when I got to hold up the crucified Christ as a Good Friday procession of Maronites walked under it and then returned to kiss the feet. Talk about emotional.