Spirituality of Traditions: Holy Week Pageantry in Bacacay

It is customary during Holy Week in the Philippines to have processions of the images of various characters and scenes in the Bible. This custom has been observed in almost all parishes in the Philippines though the grander ones can be seen in the provinces. 

Having grown up as a Catholic in Bacacay, Albay, Philippines, I am used to witness this annual event. The procession is studded with "pasos" which are statues of Biblical characters or scenes depicting the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. These statues are well adorned as can be seen in the pictures below. 

The "paso" of San Judas Tadeo which our clan owns.

"Jesus Nazareno"

"Senor de Pacencia"

"Agony in the Garden"

"Entrance to Jerusalem"

"Ecce Homo"

"Jesus Meets His Mother"

"Santa Veronica"

"San Pedro"

There are many stories behind these "pasos." Many of these date back to the 19th century and handed down from generation to generation of families assigned to take care of the "pasos." Some of these "pasos" are taken cared of by families whose members are no longer living in Bacacay. But these family members wherever they are in the world go back home to Bacacay during Holy Week to prepare the "paso" for the procession. As such, its has become a family devotion which should never be missed. With that devotion, the family taking care of the "paso" feels that blessings from the Almighty abounds for them.

Ever since, the procession in Bacacay for Bacacayanos is a testament of faith which gives meaning to our Catholic life.