Sabado de Gloria Saturday and Easter Sunday

Trip Start Mar 17, 2013
Trip End Apr 14, 2013

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Flag of Philippines  , Western Visayas,
Sunday, March 31, 2013

So on Friday Jesus dies.  On Saturday the lose the body and go looking for him and Sunday they find him!!!

And every step is painstakingly acted out. 

Our Saturday started off slow, Friday had been an early rise and a late to bed. But by midday we decided we should head out to explore the jungle behind Allan's home.  There were in his childhood a few homes back there, in this jungle flood area.

We found many more homes....While squatters is not the right word, they usually have permission to set up a house, they don't own the land and their stay is tenous.  and because it is a flood area, every typhoon ususally means they are flooded out

But on the walk we found some spectacular scenes.  We took a picture of some little girls,who quickly ran to tell all their friends, and soon we were doing group photos!   We found cows and chickens and all sorts of things.   This is an area that slowly leads to the river, but is fully wild and over grown, jungle, some meadows, and even plantations for Rambutan.

We walked for about an hour, until we were called back. A group of Apostles had reached our home to pray for the house.  They came in and stood in front of a table that had been set up with a cross and read a prayer and then sat while we gave them food and drink.  Just for fun we gave them some Baileys which they had never had, and some ice wine - which they found too strong.  Shortly after they left, another group, once of which I knew txted to see if they could also come and bless the house.   They came by as well so we were doubly blessed.

So I thought we were done for the day...but no, there is yet another procession and service.   This is the one where they have discovered the body is missing, and now they are out looking for it.   The procession started off slowly winding through town in the opposite direction as Good Friday.

The floats were changed slightly with the figures now not wringing their hands and now looking more wonderingly, (since they can't find the body)  As we returned to the chuch the float circled the square in front of the church and extinguished their lights.  A bonfire was lit and blessed, and then a candle was blessed.   Then this huge candle was lit by the bonfire, with the idea that all the candles in the upcoming year would be lit from this candle.  They walked the candle into the church with some ceremony with the rest of the town following, each with their candles lit. 

The service started and about 15 minutes into the service all the candles, save the blessed one, were extinguished, leaving the partishoners in the dark.  The service progressed for Three hours ending around 11 pm.  The parishoners relit their candles using the flame of the blessed candle and the evening ended. 

It was a long tiring day!!

But 4 am was going to come early for the sunrise service.   It was still dark when the alarm went off and we made our way to where they were first to see Jesus (at the towns 4 corners) Four little girls climbed to the top of a bus shelter and sang songs and Mary and Jesus each processed from the church in different routes circling the main part of town.   When they met at the 4 corners, a hood of mourning was taken off the head of Mary, and Jesus was bathed in lights.....they then processed together through the center of town to the church where yet another service started.    This service only lasted two hours, as there was another scheduled at 8 am.

We were invited to one of the apostles homes for breakfast.  He was a facebook friend and was quite proud.  This was the first time he had invited someone to his ancestral home for a party and he was clearly quite excited.  We had a great meal and then headed home for a nap.  

When I woke from the nap, a cold had taken hold - and I was a bit feverish and coughing.  I spent much of the rest of the day in bed and just sitting around.  

Easter weekend was over.!!!

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