Easter Sunday marked the culmination of the eight-day observance of the holy week and the passion of Christ in most Christian and Catholic communities in the country.
This morning, before the first streak of sunlight came out from the dark and still sky, the traditional processions of Santos depart from the church ground of La Porteria, as in most of the local parishes of Calabanga.
The two-pronged procession, one led by the image of Virgin Mary made its round of the streets of San Francisco and San Pablo. Another image, that of the risen Christ referred to as Resurrecion, led the way from San Antonio and Del Carmen. The two processions later met at the designated structure popularly known as “kastilyo” (castle) or “tontonan,” a permanent structure of long built for the purpose.
(The current and first Kastilyo ever built in the town of Calabanga was constructed at the parish of La Porteria under the auspices of Mr. Concordio Reduta, many decades ago. Mr. Reduta was a former elected (vice mayor) municipal official of the town.)
The tableau started with the “santos” of Virgin Mary veiled in black over the head and “face to face” with the image of Resurrection. Then little boys and girls all garbed in white clothes/dress occupying spots in the structure, some kneeled on heart-shaped contraptions, began singing songs they memorized and practiced for a month or so.
When all angels have delivered their assigned verses, another heart shaped but more elaborate and lavishly decorated-contraption (locally known as tinipuso) breaks through the inside-center of the kastilyo, open up and revealed a kneeling child.
This main angel delivered a good well-rehearsed exultation to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Afterward she reached out for the black veil on top of the image and poured a bottle of perfume on its head. This main event of the day closed the colorful celebration and signals the Easter mass celebration on the parish patio. All the Santos were carefully arranged facing the devout Catholics present.
The Easter Sunday festivity and celebration in Calabanga and hereabout is also referred to as “Pasko kan Pagkabuhay.” Tourists, locals that have relocated to some regions of the country or migrated to other parts of the world mingled, connect and brought them together with their relatives, former acquaintances and locals in a joyous occasion.
Resucito, resucito, resucito, aleluya, aleluya, aleluya, resucito. Happy Easter to all!