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MARTES SANTO


Holy Tuesday is the day of the Holy Week's first Salubong.
It's Via Crucis on the streets of the town, with the fourth station
as the high point -- the meeting of the Son and his Mother on the 
way to Calvary. As the appointed hour nears, the church patio 
becomes a showcase of antique life-size santos, bejewelled and garbed
in expensive brocade and satin and borne on silver-ornamented carrozas.
 


Principal players in the event are the 
Mater Dolorosa of the Payawal family...
 


and the Nazarene of the Valmonte family.
 


The image is said to be of Mexican origin, 
just like the more famous Quiapo Nazarene,
but this one has pronounced Caucasian features.
 


Before the procession starts, it's time to spruce up the carrozas and the santos
one last time. Like tethering the live rooster of Saint Peter, trained to perch
and look -- well -- cocky, but not to pick a peck off Peter.
 


This angel had to suffer the indignity of having
his/her robe lifted up in public so he/she can be
attached securely to the carroza. Now those kids know
what those creatures wear underneath their robes.
 


Two processions set out from the church, moving in 
opposite directions. The processions originally had sexist
undertones to them: the procession of the Mater Dolorosa
used to have exclusively female participants...
 


while the procession of the Nazarene used to have 
only male participants. But that has since changed.
 


The Nazarene's procession stops at make-shift Stations of
the Cross along the way, where events from the Passion 
of Christ are chanted by the participants pabasa-style.
 


By nightfall, the two processions meet at the town plaza,
in front of the municipio, for the Salubong.
 


The carrozas bearing the images of the Nazarene and
the Mater Dolorosa are positioned facing each other.
 


Costumed singers and a choir chant the story of 
the encounter of Mother and Son...
 


followed with keen interest by the faithful.
 


The two processions merge and move on to the
next Stations of the Cross, and then back to church.
 

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