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Lenten Season..

Lent prepares the Christian for the yearly commemoration of Christ's Death and Resurrection.

Forty weekdays- hence the term cuarsma in Spanish-are given over to prayer, almsgiving, fasting, and abstinence from meat. Christ's forty-day retreat in the desert and his success in resisting the devil's temptation to wealth, power, and glory inspires the Christian.

The month of April marks the celebration of Christ's death and resurrection, what the pious call in the Philippines "Holy Week" or Semana Santa. In contrast to other Christian countries, Filipino Catholics give emphasis on the suffering of Christ, rather than on His resurrection, on the belief that salvation comes at the end.

Religious piety is passionately displayed in different parts of the Philippines, particularly in the provinces where communities go on pilgrimage to as many churches and devotees re-enacting Christ's ordeal through real-life crucifixion under the scorching heat of the sun. Extreme forms of religious practices such as self-flagellation using whips tipped with sharp objects that scar the backs of hooded penitents are some of the rituals that are performed to this day. The penitents are taken down seconds after being nailed to the wooden crosses using 2-inch stainless steel nails soaked in alcohol. These crucifixions take place in the town of San Pedro, Pampanga, north capital of Manila.

Real-life crucifixion are not countenanced by the Catholic Church, but the fine line that separates religious ritual from spectacle is slowly erased as hundreds of tourists troop to this quaint town to witness the tradition in awe and amazement. Such rituals are part of a folk religious culture that has deep roots in a brand of obscurantism that dates back to the Spanish colonial period. Hispanic Filipinos likened the suffering of Christ to their oppression in the hands of their abusive Spanish landlords and friars. Indeed, "Holy Week" encapsulates the Filipino culture of suffering, poverty and illness; it speaks not just of our redemption in the next life, but also our travails of our present life.

But for modern day Filipinos, Holy Week is an opportunity to escape from the hustle and bustle of urban living to the serene beaches and picturesque landscapes spread across the archipelago. It is also a respite from the snarl of Manila's traffic jams and the din of political campaigning and electioneering that follows the Lenten season.

...Here Comes the Lenten Season, a time to reflect what GOD''s sacrifice to us ..I see this video at you tube and here's how Filipino people celebrate the Lenten Season in Philippines.

1 supah stars:


March 19, 2008 at 5:20 AM

it's really bothering cause I can't remember if had glanced this article from somewhere. Meaning this isn't my first time reading it.. err.. or my episode of schizophrenia is just attacking me and it's all an illusion. lol. But seriously I have read it somewhere. maybe wikipedia, bbc, nat geo or CNN.. Gosh! I'm so demented!

anyway.. have a blessed holy week joy. Enjoy your vacation much as i'm gonna enjoy mine.