Planning to Retire Soon!

If you are planning to retire in the Philippines soon, I suggest you visit several excellent websites on pro's and cons of retiring in the Philippines. However if you want to retire in the provinces, where life is simple, standard of living cheaper, less traffic congestion and pollution, availability of fresh seafood and vegetables compared to the big cities, my island province is the place for you! If this is your first time in my site, welcome. Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in the right side bar of this blog. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on the infringement of your copyrights. The photo above is the front yard of Chateau Du Mer-Our Retirement Home in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Salubong-An Easter Ceremony-Only in the Philippines

Salubong in Marinduque, Easter Sunday,April, 2010
For those of you who is not familiar with this Easter Sunday Morning rite, I am posting the following article written by C.S. Suerte and F. De Los Santos for the Philippine Star a few years ago. Macrine and I were in Marinduque last Easter April, 2010 but missed this celebration because it is too early in the morning. But the short video below did suffice my longing to observe this Ceremony in person. Enjoy!

" A semblance of angels will fly in most Catholic churches all over the country at dawn today to mark the end of the three-day mourning following the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Easter Sunday also ends the 40-day Lent that reminds the world once again of the sufferings of Jesus for the salvation of mankind.

These "angels" are the little girls who remove the lambong (veil of mourning) of the Blessed Mother shortly after processions at Easter dawn, signifying the resurrection of Jesus.

"This ritual is popularly known as salubong because this is done in a procession where the men and women are separated and coming from different directions. But they eventually meet in front of the church," says Dez Bautista, a religious researcher.

The men are led by the image of the Resurrected Christ while the Blessed Mother, still covered in a black veil, comes in the front line of the women.

In Meycauayan, Bulacan, the group of men will come from the chapel in Barangay Zamora, while the women will advance from the chapel in Barangay Hulo, with the Meycauayan church in the poblacion serving as the point of salubungan (converging area).

Bautista believes there was no record that Jesus Christ met his mother when He rose from the dead. The Bible narrates that Jesus only met Mary Magdalene and the other Mary and his 11 disciples.

"But since people are naturally attached to their mothers," Bautista says, "we believe that Jesus Christ visited the Blessed Virgin Mother shortly after his resurrection, so the tradition of salubong was born."

In Cebu, when Jesus and His mother meet, an "angel" who is suspended in midair lifts the black veil from the head of the Blessed Mother. "The ‘angel’ is lowered inside a giant paper flower while a host of other ‘angels’ sing alleluias," Bautista says.

Folk superstition has it that the black veil has to be completely taken off from the image of the Blessed Mother or misfortune will befall the people. Which is why a stronger 12-year-old rather than a kindergarten kid is now assigned to do the enviable task of lifting the veil.

"Salubong signals a new beginning not for Jesus but for us. He paid with His life to save us from our sins and this means a new life for us," says Bautista.

Easter, the oldest of all Christian festivals, reflects many pagan customs that are now associated with the holiday. Present-day scholars accept the theory that Easter is derived from Ostern and Ostra, Teutonic and Scandinavian goddesses of spring and fertility.

Easter is a moveable feast, happening yearly between March 22 and April 25. The date is determined by the first Sunday of the first full moon of the vernal equinox.

According to Bautista, towns with elaborate rituals of salubong are Cebu, Angono (in Rizal), Naga City (in Bicol), Pampanga, Dinalupihan (in Bataan), and Marinduque.

Rev. Pros Tenorio, Malolos, Bulacan parish priest, interprets salubong as God’s way of showing the Blessed Virgin still has a mission, and that is to announce that Jesus Christ has resurrected.

"The message of salubong and Easter is that Christ is truly present in our lives, through the Eucharist, the word of God, and Holy Communion. God is present in every heart that loves another," he says.

The Easter Vigil has four liturgical components – the service of the light, liturgy of the word (Genesis 1-2, 22; Exodus 14-15; Psalms 16, 19, 30, 42, 104, 118; Isaiah 54-55; Romans 6 and Matthew 28), rites of initiation and the liturgy of the Eucharist.

Unlike penitensiya practices of folk Catholicism like self-flagellation and mock crucifixion (23 men and three women nailed themselves to the cross in Pampanga, Bulacan and Zamboanga on Good Friday) which the Catholic hierarchy frowns upon, the salubong ritual has the tacit approval of the church officialdom".

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