IN PHOTOS: La Granja passion play
LA CARLOTA CITY, Philippines – Foreign and local tourists flocked to provinces in the country, where Catholic penitents whipped their backs bloody and allowed themselves to be crucified on Good Friday. But what twist did the sleepy, agricultural village of La Granja do on this day?
La Granja is a village with vast agricultural plantations in La Carlota – the city that houses one of the biggest sugar milling factories in Negros Occidental.
The parish of La Granja joined the entire country in interpreting the “Passion of Jesus Christ” on Good Friday.
It sponsored a re-enactment of the crucifixion, but “[related it] to the everyday lives of the Filipino people,” according to Fr. Jacob Segurola, who celebrated a mass for his parishioners that afternoon.
After the mass, people gathered at the multi-purpose covered court to watch the passion play, while ironically, some went to the local fair to gamble.
A parade of the cast – all colorfully dressed in an attempt to portray Roman times – signaled the start of the program. The group was led by a centurion riding his small horse and flanked by his soldiers. Barabas, other prisoners, high priests and common people followed.
The play dubbed “Kalbaryo” was formerly known as “Taltal” – the Hiligaynon term for crucifixion. The annual event started 21 years ago and featured scenes depicting social issues that concern the modern man.
Fr. Segurola said, “the main purpose is to educate the youth, involve the community and to make the parishioners feel that they are a part of this undertaking.”
This year, the Kalbaryo was divided into parts, acted in 3 different places. Parishioners walked about two to 3 kilometers to reach the Kalbaryo hill, where the re-enactment of the crucifixion of Christ took place.
The play started with the “Last Supper” and ended with the “Crowning of Jesus Christ with thorns.”
Since the Holy Week coincided with the start of campaigns for the mid-term elections, a scene in the play reminded the people to vote wisely and not be dazzled by what politicians give during the campaigns.
Juxtaposing the re-enactment of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the last stage were songs and dances on national issues such as the Reproductive Health Law, poverty, the plight of Filipino women and climate change. The songs and dances were incorporated in the “Seven Last Words.” – Rappler.com