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3 penitents to be crucified on Good Friday in Angeles City

Ding Cervantes - The Philippine Star

ANGELES CITY, Philippines – It’s not only San Fernando that has crucifixions. This city also has its own penitents who will be nailed to the cross on Good Friday.

“We will have three kristos to be really crucified at Kalayaan subdivision, and a two-day Siete Palabras or Seven Last Words presentation that starts Maundy Thursday,” said city information officer Deo Sambilay.

He said this is the third year for the city to present Siete Palabras at the Arevalo basketball court in Barangay Lourdes Northwest. It will be followed by a re-enactment of Christ’s crucifixion from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Good Friday.

“The presentation will again feature Kapampangan local artists from the Uyat Artista Inc. under the direction of Jayson Pabalan,” he said.

Sambilay said flagellants and other penitents will also take part in the Siete Palabras.

Dennis Pineda, one of the actors in the presentation, said “careful and tedious” preparations were made to avoid any untoward incident during the event.

“We are closely coordinating with residents to ensure cooperation to make the Lenten event successful,” Pineda said.

Security would be tightened during the event. Tourists would not be allowed to climb the cross after the penitents are removed.

Last year, a photo of a woman on the cross went viral and elicited negative reactions.

Some 18 kilometers south in the capital city of San Fernando, 15 penitents are set to be crucified in Barangays San Pedro Cutud, Sta. Lucia and San Jose.

The San Fernando Tourism Office has come up with a program called “Holy Week Spectacle in the Philippines,” an itinerary for journalists and tourists expected to witness the traditional Lenten practices.

Journalists should first secure accreditation from the tourism office before they would be allowed to cover the events from Maundy Thursday until Easter Sunday.

Maundy Thursday will be devoted to the “pabasa” or non-stop chanting of biblical verses in several makeshift chapels in the cities of San Fernando and Angeles.

The main attraction starts at 7 a.m. of Good Friday in San Pedro Cutud for the Via Crucis or Way of the Cross, which the tourism office described as “a 51-year-old street drama on the Passion of Christ.”

“At noon, thousands will witness the actual crucifixion of seven to 10 penitents. There’s an optional visit to Barangay Lourdes Northwest in Angeles City where another crucifixion takes place between 2 to 3 p.m.,” the tourism office said.

Black Saturday could be devoted to “shopping for Kapampangan delicacies, arts and crafts in San Fernando, Betis in Guagua, San Matias in Sto. Tomas town and Mexico.”

“At 4 a.m. of Easter Sunday, devotees can proceed to Sta. Maria Parish Church in Balibago, Angeles City for the most elaborate Salubong, a traditional religious event depicting the first meeting of Christ and His mother Mary after the resurrection,” the tourism office said.

Another option for the Easter Sunday celebration is in Sto. Tomas town where a whole day festivity of religious events (salubong), street dancing (Sabuaga Festival), trade fair, and variety shows will be held.

“The Sabuaga Festival is a showering of petals upon the image of the Virgin Mary. Petals and confetti will literally rain on the processional route around the poblacion, starting 2 p.m.”

The festivity usually culminates in a colorful fireworks display in the evening.

ANGELES CITY

BARANGAY LOURDES NORTHWEST

BARANGAYS SAN PEDRO CUTUD

EASTER SUNDAY

GOOD FRIDAY

MAUNDY THURSDAY

SABUAGA FESTIVAL

SAN

SAN FERNANDO

SIETE PALABRAS

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