Cainta, Philippines. In a country where 90 percent of the population are Catholics, Holy Week holds a special part in the lives of Filipinos. Passion plays are staged in many parts of the country. Each place has its own unique interpretation the play. It ranges from festive, to elaborate, artistic, to grotesque and even bloody commemoration of the Lords suffering.
Some places show their communal prowess in carving masks from wood. This is prominently shown in places like Paete, in Laguna, and Marinduque. Others in stage plays. And still others in their ability to endure pain. Up North, in Pampanga, people crucify themselves for a few minutes as part of their yearly observance of the Holy Week. Also common is the practise of flagellation on Good Fridays. In recent days, those crucified include women, and non-Filipinos. These last two–the crucifixion and the flagellation–are literally bloody. It is not for the faint of heart.
In this small town of Cainta, their version is characterised by bright colours of their costume. They wear face make-up with matching artificial facial hair. While other places in the country come up age old tradition of carved masks from wood, Cainta uses colourful garments and make-up to express their communal talent.
For your next Holy Week, particularly Good Friday, escapade, try visiting Cainta to watch passion play. This year it started at 8am onwards at the municipal grounds.
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