The Lenten experience

The Magdarame walk past a residence with barbed-wire fence in the village of Talaga in Capas, Tarlac. Photo by: Dax Simbol

The Magdarame walk past a residence with barbed-wire fence in the village of Talaga in Capas, Tarlac. Photo by: Dax Simbol

The Alternative brings together four stories and image collections from this year’s Lenten observance. We explore the country’s rich culture and tradition, a mix of Roman Catholicism and Pre-Hispanic beliefs, and their continuing relevance to today’s society. Dax Simbol documents the Magdarame, women mourners in Capas, Tarlac. Kimmy Baraoidan continues to follow the men of Hugas Dugo in Pakil, Laguna. And Chris Quintana explores the quaint practice of the Pabasa and discovers a slightly different approach to Lent. Finally, Kimmy Baraoidan explores the meaning of Sonny Yabao’s latest Holy Week images from Paete and Kalayaan in Laguna.

More than crosses and wounds

A young Magdarame stares at other women penitents before they start the walk toward the village chapel. Photo by: Dax Simbol

A young Magdarame stares at other women penitents before they start the walk toward the village chapel. Photo 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. (Dax Simbol)

See full story here: More than crosses and wounds

 

 

Hugas Dugo: Staying true to their legacy

A slow-exposure image of a flagellant walking along the streets of Pakil, Laguna on Good Friday. Photo by: Kimmy Baraoidan

A slow-exposure image of a flagellant walking along the streets of Pakil, Laguna on Good Friday. Photo by: Kimmy Baraoidan

Women have little or almost no involvement in the group and their activities. It seems that the area under the bridge is off-limits to women and small children. They can only sit and watch from above, from the bridge. My presence under the bridge, then, is an anomaly. Traditionally, self-flagellations and crucifixions are the realm of men, and it still is until now for the most part. (Kimmy Baraoidan)

See full story here: Hugas Dugo: Staying true to their legacy

 

 

 

An offering of Pabasa

An image of the Black Nazarene is on stage in front of the table where elder women sing the Pabasa on Maundy Thursday in the village of San Antonio in Bay, Laguna. Photo by: Chris Quintana

An image of the Black Nazarene is on stage in front of the table where elder women sing the Pabasa on Maundy Thursday in the village of San Antonio in Bay, Laguna. Photo by: Chris Quintana

I’m pretty sure I’m not going to see tourists there, I thought to myself, the village being a quiet fishing community, though it is believed that the town itself originated from the fishing settlement. As we approached the local village government multipurpose hall and basketball court, I started to hear chanting. It was being broadcast through loud speakers that almost the whole village could hear it, a slow waltz accompanied by almost wailings alternating in each stanza. I found what I was looking for. (Chris Quintana)

See full story here: An offering of Pabasa

 

 

Lenten lucid dreams

A flagellant wearing a bra and white mask exits a prayer altar along the streets of Kalayaan, Laguna. Photo by: Sonny Yabao

A flagellant wearing a bra and white mask exits a prayer altar along the streets of Kalayaan, Laguna. Photo by: Sonny Yabao

Is this real or just a dream? Sonny Yabao’s images leave more questions than answers. The experience is like waking up from a dream only to realize later that you’re still dreaming. Or forcing yourself to wake up but you realize you can’t open your eyes, you can’t move your limbs, you can’t scream, and you are frozen in that state between dreaming and waking. And then when you finally wake up, you are never the same person. (Kimmy Baraoidan)

See full story here: Lenten lucid dreams

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