2012 (ABS-CBN)
Valenzuela City Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian on Friday said he does not want the traditional “pabasa” to be rapped during Holy Week.

In a statement, Gatchalian said he does not want the traditional “pabasa” to be rapped to preserve the solemnity of the Scripture reading. The pabasa is a Holy Week practice that involves the chanting or sung reading of the narrative of the life, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“If the tune will be ala Eminem or Lady Gaga, the pabasa will lose its meaning. The pabasa is supposed to remind us of the sacrifices of our Lord to save us from our sin,” he said in a statement.

“Hanggat maari ay iwasan sana ang mga ganyang rap na tono sa mga pabasa para hindi mabastos,” he said.


The mayor said he will talk to the Sangguniang Kabataan about his proposal.

He said that while adding a modern twist to the pabasa will entice the youth, he does not want other people to be insulted by imposing changes on a hallowed tradition.

“There is nothing wrong with change. Even the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines is not against rap music. But if they should rap, I hope it's not in a manner that insults our Lord,” he said.


'Pabasa' begins this Monday By CHRISTINA HERMOSO March 28, 2010, 4:49pm

Monday, Holy Monday, the Gregorian chanting of the poetic prayer story of Jesus’ life, passion, death, and resurrection known locally as the “pabasa” or the “pasyon” begins, the second day of the Holy Week.

“Pabasa” is an old Holy Week practice that has remained well preserved particularly in the provinces where it is held continuously day and night sometimes for as long as three straight days.

In recent years, the melodies of pop songs are sometimes used to make the chanting of the Biblical passages sound more interesting and lively.

On the streets, also in the provinces, flagellants walk under the scorching summer heat while whipping their backs as a form of penitence or sacrifice. The practice is traditionally done annually by penitents as a form of “panata” or vow in exchange for an answered prayer or a special request or petition.

Monday’s Gospel readings will focus on John 12:1-11, the Anointing of Jesus at Bethany, when Mary, the sister of Martha and the resurrected Lazarus, anointed Jesus’ feet with costly perfume and wiped them with her hair.

Many of the Jews were also starting to believe in Jesus upon seeing Lazarus whom He raised from the dead.

From Monday until Holy Wednesday, prayers and reflections will focus on the theme of Jesus as the Bridegroom of the Church.

Worship schedule for Lent will be held at 6:30 a.m., 12 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. at the Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Pasay City.

Confessions will be heard from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Also Monday, the Church remembers Joseph the Patriarch, the beloved son of Jacob, a major figure in the Old Testament.

 “The story of Joseph illustrates the mystery of God’s providence, promise, and redemption. Joseph’s life bears witness to the power of God’s eternal love for mankind,” Church officials said.

[PHOTO - Good Friday. The Crucifixion - a performed the act of Jesus Christ's death. A bloody hand of a performer just after removing the nails. This act usually follows the personal vows given to God and, in fact, is much more than just a performance.]

Meanwhile, time-tested Holy Week rites and traditions that have been carried on from generations are now being observed in many parts of the country, particularly in the provinces where many of these religious rites have remained well preserved.

In Pampanga and Nueva Ecija, flagellants wear a white cotton hood called “kapirosas” to cover their faces.

Crowns made of thorns are worn by the participants whose backs are whipped until it bleeds. In Rizal, San Miguel, and Calumpit in Bulacan; and San Fernando in Pampanga, common attractions are the penitents who are nailed to crosses on Good Friday.

In Marinduque, the colorful and unique Moriones festival attracts thousands of tourists every year. The spectacular features male participants wearing oversized masks and costumes patterned after the ones worn by centurions who tormented Christ.

One stands out from the crowd, Longinus, the one wearing the largest mask that is blind in the left eye and whose eyesight was later miraculously restored.

Religious processions featuring life-size images depicting the passion and death of Christ as well as images of the Holy Mother and other saints are traditionally held on Holy Wednesday and a longer, more elaborate one on Good Friday in key cities and provinces all over the country.

In the evening of Black Saturday, the “salubong” will be re-enacted after the Easter vigil mass to mark the Resurrection of Christ.

During the religious play, the Blessed Mother’s black veil will be lifted by an angel (played by a little girl) as she is reunited with an image of her resurrected Son.

The ringing of church bells and occasional display of fireworks accompany this event.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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