Holy Week in the Philippines

LOOK: Stations of the Cross at Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

Jacqueline Hernandez

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LOOK: Stations of the Cross at Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

NEW DEVOTION. A big crowd gathers in front of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral on Wednesday, April 5 to view live tableaus depicting the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.


The 'solemn devotional performance' is a new way of showcasing faith through the arts

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebuanos immersed themselves in a living sculpture presentation of the Stations of the Cross at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral on Holy Wednesday, April 5.

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.’s Casa Gorordo Museum, staged Safespace Association’s Cross Living Sculpture Presentation to celebrate its 40th anniversary as a public museum.

The Stations of the Cross are a 14-step Catholic devotion that commemorates Jesus Christ’s last day on Earth as a man.

The “solemn devotional performance” is a new way of showcasing faith through the arts.

According to Andrew Lazarte, director of SafeSpace Association, the devotion challenged not only the actors’ emotions but also their physical endurance.

The actors needed to hold challenging poses for a minimum of five to seven minutes to sustain the emotions and portray the story of Jesus’ passion, he pointed out.

“I can trust them and the emotional parts, but the physical part is the most daunting here. And I believe they gave it justice. So I’m very happy and I’m very proud of them.” he said.

All photos by Jacqueline Hernandez.

You can watch a video of the performance here.

The fifth station shows Simon of Cyrene helping Jesus carry his Cross.

The seventh station shows Jesus falling the second time

“I thought it was going to be very, very easy, because all you need to do is to stay put for like, a few minutes. But in reality, it was very, very difficult to sustain the emotion to carry all the story of Jesus,” said 26-year-old Emmanuel Casquejo.

The resident of Mambaling, Cebu was one of the actors portraying Jesus Christ.

“It was a big challenge for me because I needed to stay in a certain pose for a minimum of five to seven minutes,” said Casquejo.

At the tenth station, Roman centurions strip Jesus of his garments

At the 11th station, Jesus is nailed to the Cross.

Casquejo said this station was the most difficult to portray.

“I needed to shout louder. I really needed to portray how it was,” the actor said.

Jesus dies on the Cross at the 12th station.

The 13th station shows the Blessed Virgin Mary cradling the mortal body of Jesus Christ after he is taken down from the Cross.

Rhodamae Chan portrayed Mary. As she recounted her experience, her voice trembled with emotion.

“The most challenging part for me was Station 13, right in the Pietà. I was afraid I wouldn’t pull through. I had been crying since the first station went down.”

“When we act, it’s not just acting. We don’t have to act because if you are really in tune with your character, you become the character. I wasn’t Rhodamae Chan acting as Mary. I was Mary,” she said. “The only thing that mattered was to pull through the necessary emotions for the scene.”

The 52-year-old Chan said it took “a month of training and yoga to get my body ready for the performance.”

“Seeing the audience moved and in tears made it all worth it,” said Chan, an accountant by profession.

The 14th and last station shows Jesus lying in his tomb.

After the event, the cast posed together before mingling with the audience.


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