Good Friday

Posted by Normita

April 2, 2010

In the predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines, the day is commemorated with street processions, the Way of the Cross, and a Passion play called the Senakulo. The Church keeps the day solemn by not tolling the church bells, and no Mass will be celebrated. In some communities throughout the country (most notably in the island province of Marinduque or in the San Fernando, Pampanga), the processions include devotees (termed Moriones) who self-flagellate and sometimes even have themselves nailed to crosses as expressions of penance despite health issues and strong disapproval from the Church.[29] After three o’clock in the afternoon of Good Friday (the time at which Jesus is traditionally believed to have died), noise is discouraged, some radio and television stations sign off, businesses close, and the faithful are urged to keep a very solemn and prayerful disposition through to Easter Sunday. Yet other television networks are still on air making way for some religious programming related to the solemn celebration.

In Cebu and other Visayan Islands the locals usually eat Binignit and Biko as a form of fasting. The elders also discourage taking a bath after 3 o’clock on Good Friday.[citation needed]

Major television networks such as SVD Communication Ministry, and the Dominican Fathers of the Philippines, and others broadcast events at Roman Catholic parishes . These events include the reading of the Seven Last Words, the recitation of the Stations of the Cross, and the service of the Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion.*[citation needed]


Depending on what part of the Philippines, there are variations in the observance of Good Friday.  In my hometown, it’s a solemn day, not many cars or motor vehicles driving around.  People go about their family business very early, preparing a meal to share with family, close relatives and friends.  At noon, the start of the recitation of the Seven Words at the church, with guests giving commentaries of their own personal experiences related to the Words.  By three o’clock, the Good Friday Mass is held.  The church is packed, wall to wall.  No church bells, just quiet, and filled with prayers.  After mass people go home to prepare the meal, or go to their relatives’ home to share a meal, reflect and watch the procession together.

Every Good Friday after mass, Bob and I invite our close family and relatives to share a meal with us.  Today, we served boiled banana (a special variety) while waiting for the meal. For the main meal, we served cioppino filled with fresh seafood, linguine with pesto, and fresh dinner rolls. Desserts were delicacies mostly made from rice, sweet and sticky. 

 At 6:30 in the evening, my niece said, “the procession is coming”, so we took our stools in front of our house, sat and watched the ‘funeral procession’ with twenty (20) statues, all dressed in black, except for Jesus dressed in white, lying on a hearse.  I will be posting all the pictures .

Saturday is what we call, “Sabado de Gloria”, a different celebration with procession from each of the different districts, to assemble in the church patio for an outside mass, to await thedawn for  Easter Sunday.

13 thoughts on “Good Friday

  1. Villagers, Good Friday to all! I hope you haven’t been tired and bored with these Easter Season posts. Although we miss spending Easter with family and friends in the States, this very religious and traditional Easter celebration are quite special and informative.

    Karel, glad to learn that you found your Easter baskets. I miss making my baskets for my daughter and grandkids. They will never outgrow those baskets, simple pleasures of life.

    Good night to all villagers everywhere. More pictures to post tomorrow in the village album. It is now 11:13 PM, Good Friday.

  2. Normita, you will be exhausted by Easter. We are enjoying our cultural, culinary, and religious lessons from you.

    Tanya, do you still see your friend Rosalie? You must have special memories with her. You will need to invite Jenn over and then lock her in the bedroom to get some need rest. Or she should treat herself to a full hour massage. I guarantee she will be sleeping on the table within minutes.

    Karel, how do you get 106% humidity?

    Go sent me a short note to say that she had to take the kitty in where it will be placed in a barn that is better suited for his temperment. But she now has a pair of young cats that are best buds.

    I made my ginger peach ice tea for Sunday and boiled my eggs for dying.

    Go my prickly pear products that I ordered from Arizona arrived this morning.

  3. Taylor, I’m glad to share this tradition to all of you! The thing that exhausts me the most is the hot weather. It bears us down, perspiration which I think is helpful in a lot of ways. In the States, we have to pay the gym to get our sweat out. Here you move, sit, stand, walk – we perspire. I lost some pounds already in spite of the good local food I consume.

  4. Taylor, Bob and I make sun tea from the variety we brought with us. Great taste, directly from the sun!

  5. Normita, Taylor, and lurkers, Teri texted me today and asked me to tell you that she is having computer problems and this is why she hasn’t been at the village. She was supposed to get some help with it tonight. Hope she did (or does soon).

    Good Holy Saturday morning to Normita and Bob. It is 11:33 a.m. in their neck of the woods.

    Good night to everyone else.

    Oh, Normita… I like reading your Easter week threads, so keep them coming!

  6. MJ, thanks for the update on Teri. Hopefully they will get help soom but the downtime is probably good for the kids.

    I pooped out today and did not get everything done that I wanted but the eggs are beautiful. When we went to the Dollar Store this afternoon they had a perfect egg display plate for them.

    The trees all have a green glow–we should have leaves by Sunday.

  7. Villagers, I’m so glad that you are enjoying the Easter traditions. Our church sees bus loads of people coming and going for pilgrimage called “Visita Iglesias”, devout people who visit different churches during Holy Week. They stay for a brief devotional prayer, then leave to go to another church in the nearby town.

  8. I would like to mention that we do take brief siestas, naps, just a break from the heat which makes really tired and sleepy.

  9. Tonight we attended the high mass for Easter. Lots of artistry, prayers and music. The church bells can be heard in the whole town signalling Christ Risen and what Easter is all about.

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