Text and photos by: Dax Simbol
For the past five years, during Good Fridays, I have followed a group of women in the little known village of Talaga in Capas, Tarlac. They are the Magdarame, mourners or sympathizers of penitents who walk barefoot, clad in all black or sometimes in the traditional maroon Nazareno-like outfits, behind penitents and flagellants.
It is a welcome break from the usual cross-bearing and bloodied penitents usually seen on the streets.
No one can seem to remember the exact date when the women’s tradition started. They begin late in the morning, gathering in someone’s front yard, a kilometer or so from the village chapel, where they first pray the rosary. Then group assembles with a couple of male cross-bearing penitents in front. They walk barefoot in the blistering cement, stopping each time the penitents would take a breather.