Monday, April 1, 2013

Viernes Santo in Gumaca, Quezon

San Diego de Alcala Cathedral before Palm Sunday
I was initially planning of going to either Paete or the nearer Carcar, Cebu (LOL!) to witness a different semana santa observance there, but I opted to get traditional and spend the long weekend in my hometown Gumaca with my sister.

A not so usual bus scene: an Islam emblem
 instead of the usual rosary

Good thing about traveling during Good Friday is that there are less vehicles,
therefore traffic is really light, and you'll get to your destination before you can say "mukha kang viernes santo". Though, it also translates to less public buses commuting, and results to tayuan specially in provincial trips. I get to experience that, not because my sister and I ran out of seats, but rather being a good samaritan on a Good Friday, and let an elderly sit despite of you not knowing until when will you be standing because of that good deed. I'm a lola's boy indeed.

But the good deed paid off. The trip got really fast and we arrived in Gumaca after just 4 and a half hours. That's 3 hours faster than the usual. After a few hours of rest, we went off to join the prusisyon.

The namamanatas

Jesus falls the first time
The crowning of thorns
I do look forward to this event ever since I was a kid, and I feel the solemnity of the event more whenever I see the poons (not the singer my goodness) and santos placed in their antique anda carried over the shoulders of the namamanata or in the carroza with families who have been the caretaker of the images for decades.

Saint Veronica
Saint Peter
However, only some of the images are antique. Actually, most of them are new, basing on how it it carved and the appearance. I personally like the old ones more; faces are really expressive and life-like, some parts showing signs of age, which tells that it has been handed through generations, and is a mute witness of history of a town which is now on the verge of being forgotten.

Crowd favorites are the Santo Intierro and the Mater Dolorosa. 

Mater Dolorosa
Santo Intierro

Almost a thousand (yes, Gumaca is becoming a bit crowded!) attended and watched the Good Friday procession, which includes those on the sidestreets. At pagkahaba-haba man daw ng prusisyon, sa simbahan din ang tuloy, where the icons are blessed.

Scourging at the Pillar
The Last Supper

These traditions during lent in the Philippines will surely live on, but hopefully we do stick to what and why we observe these events. There might be some who don't believe in these customs, but being imbedded in our culture and heritage, it's here to stay.

A woman watching the procession outside their house. It's customary to light a candle if the procession will be passing by your house.
A devout wiping her handkerchief during the Veneration of the Cross , done after the Good Friday mass.


  1. asti ng them. di ako nasama nun good friday s amin dahil double pay sa work.

  2. Do you have a list kung sinu sinung mga saints ang Sumasama sa Prusisyon? Thanks