Behind the masks of Marinduque's Moriones Festival
MARINDUQUE, Philippines – Filipinos observe Holy Week through different acts to show repentance.
In Marinduque, penitents wear morions – or masks depicting the faces of Roman centurions – and march into town as part of their Moriones Festival.
In this Holy Week commemoration of Jesus' passion and death, participants reenact the story of Longinus, the half-blind Roman soldier who was present during Jesus' crucifixion.
Garbed in 10-kilogram costumes of Roman soldiers, the faithful endure the scorching summer heat as they walk around town as part of their penitence.
In 2017, among them was the Diaz family from Barangay Kasily, fondly called "Pamilyang Banal" because all the members of the family are Morions. They started their vow in 2010 after their youngest son, John Cedric, then 7 years old, was healed from a disease that medical doctors could not figure out, and that nearly took his life.
Behind the colorful masks, the Morions fulfill their vows to show their gratitude to God.