Showing posts with label Guagua. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guagua. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Pampanga: Santo Entierro carrozas and Good Friday processions of Pampanga

Every Good Friday, the Santo Entierro or Apung Mamacalulu are brought out in grand carrozas called calandras for the Good Friday procession. Here are photos of some of the Santo Entierro carrozas or calandras of Pampanga. It's a work in progress so I'll be adding photos and descriptions as I receive them. Thanks to the Center for Kapampangan Studies for providing some of the photos including this one of the Guagua carroza being prepared for the Good Friday procession.

ANGELES: Alex Castro shares that Angeles has its own Apung Mamacalulu or Santo Entierro owned by the Dayrit clan. This image figured in a controversial 1929 Good Friday procession that ended in its kidnapping. It took a Supreme Court decision to resolve the issue of its ownership.

ARAYAT: According to Toto Gonzalez, the Arayat Good Friday procession is lovely and beguiling with antique candlelit carrozas and old, archaic-sounding Kapampangan religious music. A burol or wake for the Santo Entierro commences after the procession at the Spanish colonial era chapel of the Medina-Samia-Santos family a few meters from the church. This last until 11:30 p.m.

BACOLOR: The Bacolor Santo Entierro is owned by the Joven-de Leon clan. It most probably had belonged to Don Juan Joven and Dona Geronima Suares. It was buried by lahar in 1995 and was dug up the same year. It was kept until 2004 when it was restored by Tom Joven who is now the caretaker of the image.

GUAGUA: The Guagua Santo Entierro in the main photo is owned by the Infante-Velez clan.

MABALACAT: The Apung Mamacalulu of Mabalacat has its own chapel beside the Mabalacat Elementary School. It is believed that the image originated from Mexico. It belonged to Doña Vicenta Dizon who was married to Don Juan Rivera. The couple were childless so the calandra was passed on to the Rivera-Serrano family. Preparing the image for the procession is a community affair, done during the morning of Holy Thursday. The carroza is ornamented by mother of pearl flowers and silver symbols of the passion of Christ.

SAN FERNANDO: Above is the Santo Entierro of San Fernando. This is a fairly recent postwar calandra.

SANTA RITA: The Santa Rita Santo Entierro is owned by the Miranda-Maglalang clan.

SASMUAN: The Sasmuan Santo Entierro is owned by the Mercado family.

According to Toto Gonzalez, the five most beautiful calandras of the Santo Entierro in Pampanga are Santa Rita (Miranda-Maglalang), Arayat (Medina-Samia-Santos), Sasmuan (Mercado), Guagua (Infante-Velez), and in recent years, with all the improvements made by the formidable Tom Joven, that of Bacolor (Joven-de Leon). He adds that also beautiful, although simple, are the mid-1800s calandras of San Luis, Minalin, Santa Ana, Mexico, Mabalacat, Candaba, and Apalit. Those of Lubao, Magalang, Angeles date back to the turn of the 20th century. The calandras of San Fernando and Macabebe are fairly recent. He hasn't seen those of Masantol, Porac, and Floridablanca though and we look forward to his reviews. While many of the calandras date from the 1800s, many of the images of the Santo Entierro are from the 1700s.

Toto further notes that the only existing calandras in other provinces that can compare with those of Pampanga are: Vigan, Ilocos Sur; Lingayen, Pangasinan; Baliuag, Malolos and Barasoain, Bulacan; San Pablo (originally from Santa Cruz, Manila), Binan, Pila, Paete, and Pakil, Laguna; Lipa, Batangas; Carcar, Cebu; Molo, Iloilo City; Bacolod and Talisay, Negros Occidental and Mambajao, Camiguin.

If you have photos or stories of other Santo Entierro carrozas in Pampanga, please feel free to share them at

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Pampanga: Visita iglesia to Pampanga churches

When I was still City Tourism Officer of San Fernando, Pampanga, I lamented the fact that the beautiful churches of Pampanga were not given the attention they truly deserve during the Holy Thursday visita iglesia tours. Well, I can say that today that Pampanga is hot on the visita iglesia map!

On top of the list is the Betis Church in Guagua. A National Cultural Treasure, the church is called the Sistine Chapel of the Philippines because of its wall to ceiling mural paintings and its ornate wooden retablo.

You can start your visita iglesia in Lubao Church, the oldest church in Pampanga. From the San Fernando Exit of the NLEX, just drive westward to Lubao. After Lubao, drive eastward along the Jose Abad Santos Highway (Gapan-Olongapo Road) and look for the junction to Sta. Rita town on the left to visit the Sta. Rita Church. After there, you can drive to the Guagua Church, and then to Betis Church.

After Betis, drive along the old National Highway until you reach Bacolor Church. Once the biggest church in Pampanga, it is now half-buried under lahar. But that did not damped the pride of the town in their heritage since they dug up the wonderful retablos and restored them.

After Bacolor, continue your drive along the old National Highway until you reach San Fernando. You'll know you're in San Fernando when you see the chimneys of PASUDECO, the Pampanga Provincial Capitol, and the wonderful ancestral mansions along Consunji Street. Since Holy Thursday is also Araw ng Kagitingan, you might want to make a stopover at the San Fernando Train Station, an important Death March landmark.

Anyway, you'll be able to find the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando really easily. The current interior of the Cathedral was designed by Architect Fernando Ocampo after the church burned down a second time in 1939.

Since you are already in San Fernando, you can have your lunch stop there and try out the great restaurants that serve some of the best Kapampangan fare.

From San Fernando, drive south along MacArthur Highway to the Minalin Church and Apalit Church. Then at the San Simon Interchange, cross above the NLEX eastward to get to the San Luis Church and further on, the Arayat Church. Along the way, you'll see the old facade of the Sta. Ana Church. However, its interior is heavily renovated.

If there's not enough time, you can go straight to Angeles Church north of San Fernando. From there, you could drive to Porac which has two old chapels worth visiting, the Pio Chapel and Hacienda Dolores Chapel. Pio is a bit more accessible. But it's quite a drive to Hacienda Dolores.

You can end your day with dinner in the Clark Freeport area which has a wonderful selection of international cuisine for all. Well, if your stomach is up to it, you can keep on eating in between churches since every town has its own specialty! A visita iglesia in Pampanga is definitely a feast for mind, body and soul!

Related entries
Visita iglesia to our heritage churches
Pisamban... the churches of Pampanga
Holy Week practices in the Philippines
Visita iglesia and more Holy Week practices in the Philippines
Visita iglesia routes for Holy Thursday

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Pampanga: Ultimate show-off in Pampanga and Giant Lantern Festival 2007

We had a great show-off today! I won't go into detail anymore since I've said so much about Pampanga already in this blog. So I invite you to visit Our Awesome Planet's detailed account of the trip: Part 1 - 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Part 2 - 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.; and Part 3 - 4:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

There were a lot of surprises we did not mention in our announcements. Aside from lunch at Claude Tayag's Bale Dutung, we gave each participant a bayong with our favorite Kapampangan goodies such as Imang Salud's ensaymadas, turrones de casoy from Santa Rita, Aurely's Special which is an inverted brazo de mercedes, Junjun's barbecue and puto pao from Nathaniel's. On the bus, we also served five gallons of the legendary buko sherbet of Brgy. San Jose in San Fernando!

I guess the biggest surprise for the group was that Among Ed Panlilio joined us for lunch at Claude's! The Giant Lantern Festival was as spectacular as always. And it was a great thing they returned the marching band tradition. Watch out for our upcoming tours. We don't plan on repeating tours so the next one will definitely be different. It was all smiles for everyone after 16 hours in flamboyant Pampanga.

Thanks to Bikoy and Anton for the photos! The video of Giant Lantern Festival 2007 was taken by Bikoy too.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Pampanga: Ligligan Parul and more from Pampanga

I was at the Giant Lantern Festival yesterday. I've attended every year since 2001, missing only the one last year. But before going to the festival, I toured my guests, Anton Diaz (Our Awesome Planet) and family to nearby Betis and Bacolor Church. To know more about the churches, check out an earlier blog entry here.

Anyway, after the brief tour, we rushed back to SM City Pampanga since we didn't want to join the mad rush to the festival, which would mean heavy traffic and no parking. So we decided to wait it out in SM. Since we were all hungry, I took them to a branch of the popular San Fernando restaurant called Partyland. They are most known for their buffet lunch, merienda and dinner and the cost of each varies. For just PHP109, you get an eat-all-you-can merienda which includes local favorites such as dinuguan and puto, ginataan, arroz caldo, tokwa't baboy, turon, palitaw, pancit palabok, lumpia, and spaghetti with the Filipino twist. If you think that isn't enough, the package includes the halo-halo bar too!

By 6 p.m., we walked to the venue at the back of the mall to check out the lanterns while there were no people, and to get some good seats in the reserved section. There were already people waiting in the venue, also to reserve good positions to view the twelve giant lanterns. I got to chat with a lot of old friends and relatives while waiting. Of course, sculptor Toym Imao, son of National Artist Abdulmari Imao, was there since he designed the trophies. They invited me and Anton to check out their Marikina studio which I hope to visit soon.

What I did now expect was a movie promotion from 6 to 7 p.m. which was annoying due to its obvious political overtones. What is even more despicable is they covered the backdrop of the Giant Lantern Festival with large posters of the movie and its lead stars, a family of Pampanga politicians. Things like those have no place in the Giant Lantern Festival since it pollutes the atmosphere.

The organizers were irked too when they saw the posters and had them removed as soon as they were done. I was told that this timeslot was requested by SM for a program. When I was chairman of the festival in 2003, I declined offers of SM for celebrities to sing before the festival. SM argued it would attract people. But I said, it was not needed since people came to watch the lanterns whether there was a celebrity or not. It makes the festival so commercial when you add those sort of programs! This is an old Christmas tradition of the city and the best way to set the mood would be a marching band playing Christmas songs, the way it used to be before SM entered the picture.

Anyway, it was a great show as always. We had a lot of celebrity and diplomat judges and guests such as Senator Mar Roxas and Korina Sanchez, French Ambassador H.E. Gerard Chesnel who chaired the Board of Judges, Tina Monzon-Palma, and Inquirer founding chair Eugenia Duran-Apostol among others.

As I was watching, I remembered how much the festival had changed since I was a kid. Although I lived in Manila at that time, the entire family always slept at our grandparents' house in San Fernando for Christmas Eve. The lantern festival used to be held after the midnight Mass in a small square beside the church. And the lanterns danced to the music of a live marching band. Smaller lanterns used during the lubenas and the barangay patron saint were also brought to the venue.

After the festival, the giant lantern of our barangay, San Jose, would pass by the house on the way home, in a procession together with the smaller lanterns and the image of San Jose on a carroza, accompanied by a marching band. And those in the house would usually ask who won since the rivalry between San Jose and Del Pilar was still very strong then, with Del Pilar usually winning and San Jose placing second. Those were the days!

It looks like my lantern appreciation skills worked well tonight since the three lanterns that I predicted would win, all made it! Congratulations to Barangay San Felipe, and my friend, lantern-maker Roland Quiambao for winning this year's competition! Their winning streak was broken only last year when they placed second. Hats off as well to second-placer Barangay San Pedro and Barangay Del Pilar which placed third. But all the twelve entries deserve praise for the effort they put in the lanterns. So what's the prize? No cash, just a trophy. More than the cash, it's barangay pride that is at stake. And I hope it remains that way, a community effort where everyone pitches in, hoping to win top honors at the annual festival.

Above are photos of Barangay Santo Nino. Imagine, that's just one lantern! You can still catch the giant lanterns sans the crowd from December 17 to 20 at Paskuhan Village, December 21 in Barangay Sindalan, and December 24 in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando. Call the City Tourism Office at (045) 9615684 for more information.
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