Organizers of Bantayan’s Santo Entierro reminds devotees: ‘This is not a parade, dress properly’

200,000 expected to join solemn Holy Week procession

By: Morexette Marie Erram - CDN Digital | April 07,2023 - 09:59 AM

Bantayan Santo Entierro

Faithfuls take photos of the carrozas shortly before the Solemn Procession on Holy Thursday, April 6, in Bantayan town, Cebu. CDN Digital photo | Morexette Marie Erram

CEBU CITY, Philippines – This is not the Sinulog. This is a solemn event remembering Christ’s death.

Locals in Bantayan town in Cebu had this to say as they brace for thousands of devotees to flock to their locality again this Good Friday, April 7, 2023, for one of their biggest Lenten activities.

With COVID restrictions virtually gone, organizers of Bantayan’s Santo Entierro expect at least 200,000 individuals to join the solemn procession. 

“We had around 100,000 visitors last year… This year, we double the expectation so we tripled the preparations,” said Kenneth Roger Monilar, curator and chairperson on worship of the Parroquia de San Pedro Apostol, or commonly referred to as the Bantayan Parish Church. 

Monilar also urged those who want to participate and witness the Santo Entierro procession to dress accordingly to the occasion, emphasizing that it is not a fiesta but a solemn activity.

“We are just really requesting everyone and advise everyone to really dress properly that is aligned with the celebration. It is not a parade like the Sinulog Festival where you can just wear shorts or tattered jeans,” said Monilar.

Clothes that show too much skin like crop tops, spaghetti or sleeveless tank tops are also discouraged

“We want to people focus on their faith, and on their reflection,” Monilar added. 

The Santo Entierro literally means Holy Internment in Spanish. The term is also used to name one of the highlights during Holy Week, the Santo Entierro procession and the statue of the dead Christ.

Traditional way

In Bantayan, a life-size image of the dead Christ takes the center-stage for the Good Friday procession every year. This practice, however, stopped for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and only resumed in 2022. 

According to Monilar, the pandemic gave organizers enough time to reflect and reassess their Santo Entierro procession. 

For this year, the church curator said they will be doing it in the traditional way.

“It’s not the usual Santo Entierro procession na makita sa new generation… There will be wreath bearers nga mag-una gyud sa caro sa Santo Entierro. Tagaan gyud siya ug highlight, and adunay six torches mukuyog niya and dinha mukuyog atong mga kaparian,” said Monilar. 

(It’s not the usual Santo Entierro procession we see with the new generation. There will be wreath bearers ahead of the caro of the  Santo Entierro. We will really highlight that, and there are six torches accompanying it and that’s where the priests will be.)

He added that the solo carrozas that will follow the image of the dead Christ will appear in accordance to their order of appearance in the Bible.

“Before, murag randomly lang sila gibutang,” Monilar said. 

(Before, it used to be done just randomly.)

Bantayan is a first-class municipality that belonged to the Bantayan group of islands situated 140 kilometers northwest of Cebu City. 

/ bmjo


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TAGS: Bantayan, faith, Holy Week

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