Holy Week traditions in Catholic Philippines

But literally every Catholic provincial town in the Philippines celebrates the Holy Week.

On Holy Thursday, you can visit any church in the Philippines and they will be spruced up to their finest best (sic?). It is a tradition called Bisita Iglesia (which I haven’t done). The tradtion states that you should visit seven churches that day.

On Holy Friday, a grand funeral procession is held at night to honor the dead Christ. There is even normally a funeraly carriage for his body.

On Easter Sunday, in the early morning, some churches, even in Metro Manila, celebrate the Salubong or the moment when the angels came down from heaven and woke up the risen Christ. There is one that happens in Sanctuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park that the church builds an elaborate stage for every year.

Meanwhile, in Pampanga during the Holy Week, besides the regular crucifixiions, you have “sinners” walking around whipping themselves with bamboo cat o’ nine tails till their backs become all bloody. A gory sight but fascinating nonetheless.

Nothing to do during the Holy Week, go to the main church of any Catholic province, and you’ll see most if not all of these real Filipino Catholic traditions.


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