Showing posts with label Santo Tomas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Santo Tomas. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Pampanga: Easter Sunday salubong, pusu-puso and sagalas of Santo Tomas

On Easter Sunday, the neighboring towns of Santo Tomas and Minalin are the center of activities in Pampanga. Aside from being Easter Sunday, it's also the town fiesta of Santo Tomas. The town celebrates its fiesta on Easter Sunday rather than on the July 3 feast day of St. Thomas the Apostle.

The night before, a rigodon de honor used to be performed at the Sabado de Gloria Ball called the Thomasian. I remember dancing the rigodon in the 2002 Sabado de Gloria Ball. Sadly, they stopped doing it about two years ago because no one was willing to be hermano and hermana mayor due to the costs that accompany it. While it was still being held, Thomasian was the longest continuously organized rigodon de honor in Pampanga. The oldest surviving rigodon tradition in Pampanga, the El Circulo Fernandino, was not held from 1987 to 1996.

According to Robby Tantingco of the Center for Kapampangan Studies, "The most elaborate salubong are held in front of the churches of Sto. Tomas and Minalin. Shortly before the break of dawn, the brass band plays and an all-girls' choir sing Alleluia as the two santos are positioned face to face. The angel does not immediately appear; instead, she is hidden inside a pusu-pusu (heart-shaped giant banana flower) which opens in five stages, one layer of petals at a time. Each opening is accompanied by the band playing and choir singing which prolongs the whole ceremony. After the salubung (also called pusu-pusuan in these parts), the people go inside the church for the Easter Mass.

"In Sto. Tomas, another quaint tradition follows after the Mass: a group of well-dressed girls and the partners dance and sing, and throw petals on the path of the carroza bearing the statue of the Risen Christ accompanied by a violin. This ritual is called Sagalas."

Later at noon, the Pakbung Hudas festivities are held at the church patio. I missed the Salubong or Pusu-pusuan, as well as the Sagalas. But I just had to write about it to complete this series on Pampanga Holy Week practices. Thank you to the Center for Kapampangan Studies for the video screencaps.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Pampanga: Easter Sunday Pakbung Hudas tradition in Minalin & Santo Tomas, Pampanga

Firecrackers on Easter Sunday! In the towns of Minalin and Sto. Tomas, the Pakbung Hudas (explosion of Judas) tradition is still held every Easter Sunday. We drove to Minalin to catch the Pakbung Hudas festivities at 9:30 a.m. and proceeded to Sto. Tomas to catch theirs at 12 noon.

Pakbung Hudas is an event wherein an effigy of Judas Iscariot, stuffed with firecrackers, is lit up in front of the church patio for a big bang to start the Easter Season. The firecrackers are so positioned so that the effigy moves horizontally counter-clockwise then clockwise, then vertically clockwise and counter-clockwise before finally exploding.

For some reason, they want to change the name to Pakbung Kasalanan or Pakbung Satanas with the effigy representing sin or  in particular, the seven deadly sins. But I think changing the name will change the story behind the tradition. You could still say Pakbung Hudas and explain that the effigy represents sin. Oh well!

I liked the Judas effigy in Minalin which was very colorful and folksy. The one in Sto. Tomas wasn't decorated though.

Since Easter Sunday is also the town fiesta of Santo Tomas, there are a lot of activities during the day. After the Easter Mass in the morning, sagalas paraded around town. They also had a palaro for the children. The agawan buko was quite intense!

Anyway, it took them quite a while to set-up the effigy which they lit up at about 12:30 p.m. Indeed they celebrate Easter in Pampanga with a big bang!

Pampanga: Salubong procession on Easter Sunday and the colorful pusu-puso

The Salubong is a Filipino tradition done early in the morning of Easter Sunday, wherein the images of the Risen Christ and Sorrowful Mother symbolically meet in a pre-dawn procession. While many parishes have moved it to late Saturday night for convenience, the real traditional Salubong happens right before dawn.

I was actually wondering if the pusu-puso was still being used in Pampanga. I should have asked. Anyway, I watched the Salubong in San Fernando late Saturday night which was quite simple.

The Bacolor salubong or pusu-pusuan was also at midnight and they used the pusu-puso! The photo above is from Tom Joven.

The next morning, I proceeded to Minalin and Santo Tomas to witness the Pakbung Hudas Easter Sunday festivities. And lo and behold, the opened pusu-puso were hanging from the church gates! The Salubong in Minalin was at 4 a.m. while the one in Santo Tomas was at 5:30 a.m.

The puso-puso is a fine example of folk art used for the Salubong. It's basically shaped like a bud with several layers of petals made out of cardboard, papel de hapon and crepe paper. Hidden above the pusu-puso is a little girl dressed as an angel. The veiled image of the Sorrowful Mother is brought under the pusu-puso.

Layer by layer, the pusu-puso opens, raining petals and confetti on the images of the Mater Dolorosa and Risen Christ. With the opening of the last layer, doves fly out and the little girl, who sings Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia (Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia), is lowered on a swing just right over the head of the Mater Dolorosa so she could take off the veil. Once the veil is removed, fireworks are lit, the marching band starts playing and the crowd applauds. The Easter Season has begun.
Related Posts with Thumbnails