Hinuklog: Passion of the Christ street play
MISAMIS ORIENTAL, Philippines – Epifanio Dorimon is a pedicab driver, but for 2 days each year, he plays the role of Jesus of Nazareth in his town's Hinuklog (Reflection), their version of the Passion of the Christ, which the Catholics observe every Holy Week.
The Passion of the Christ of the town of Medina is unique – it is a street play, with the Poblacion District serving as background and stage, and the 240 cast members, all residents.
Dorimon is not your typical Jesus from Michaelangelo's painting.
He is dark-skinned, owing to long hours of exposure to the sun, with long curly hair, which National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) – Committee on Performing Arts Western Mindanao Regional Coordinator Filimon Blanco appreciates for its deviation from the usual portrayal of Christ as "white and too handsome."
In Medina's version of the Passion of the Christ, the 5 major scenes – the Last Supper, The Council of Elders, the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Market Scene and Pontius Pilates and the Crucifixion of Christ – are played across the town – from the town hall to the market, the plaza and a vacant lot that serves as calvary hills.
True to the unfolding of the event, the play starts Thursday evening and ends at midnight.
The play is witnessed by residents, travelers and tourists as they walk along the streets of the town.
According to Nelson Gatasan, the overall director, this year's play unfolded across the two-kilometer radius of the town's Poblacion and the spectators were treated to a cinematic experience as they became part of it.
Gatasan, now in his 60s, also played Jesus for 7 years from 1981-1987.
The annual play started in 1979, then it was stopped in 1991, and then revived again in 2011 after the municipal government and the diocese decided for it.
Dorimon started playing Jesus after bagging the role in an audition held by the Hinuklog Council in 2011.
The NCCA supports the play by training its production team, the actors and the directors, and providing funding for it.
While the old version of the Passion of the Christ script was based on the movie Jesus of Nazareth, the modern script was inspired by Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ.
The script was also approved by the Parish of the town.
The station of the cross was the most grueling part of this year's play. The lashing of Dorimon seemed real that spectators asked that it be stopped.
Judy Aclan, product specialist of the Department of Trade and Industry-Misamis Oriental, said the staging of the Hinuklog is an added attraction that is drawing thousands of tourists to the province. They hope that the play will attract more people in the coming years.
The months of preparations and workshop conducted by the NCCA, in coordination with the local government, paved the way for the successful staging of the play. – Rappler.com