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Passion of Christ comes to life in Leyte's annual "Tanggal" play

Passion of Christ comes to life in Leyte's annual "Tanggal" play

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Palo in Leyte will hold its annual "Tanggal" play, a traditional Passion of Christ reenactment, on Good Friday. Photo courtesy of Fr. Gilbert Urdina

TACLOBAN CITY – On Good Friday, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Palo in Leyte will hold its annual "Tanggal" play, a localized rendition of the Passion of Christ. This event has been a tradition in the municipality since 1974, with the late Msgr. Ben Sabillo writing the script.

During the event, volunteer local artists will reenact Jesus Christ's Way of the Cross along Palo town's main road from noon to 1 p.m. To prepare spiritually for their roles, participants underwent recollection.

Aside from the reenactment, the presentation will also feature the "penitentes," a penitential fraternity of cassocked, barefoot, and hooded members known as "tais-dupol." This fraternity was founded in 1984 by Fray Pantaleon de le Fuente, with married men wearing "tais" or pointed hoods and single men wearing "dupol" or non-pointed hoods.

The event will end with priests reading and explaining the Seven Last Words, a meditation involving reflecting on the final words of Jesus Christ from the cross.

Hundreds of onlookers from Palo and nearby towns are expected to attend the event, so the local traffic management office of the town will implement a rerouting scheme on April 7 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vehicles passing through Palo are advised to use the east and west bypass roads.

If you are planning to attend the event, eat beforehand, bring water and sun protection except for an umbrella, as backpacks are not allowed. If you have young children with you, having at least one guardian per child is recommended, particularly if you intend to climb Guinhangdan Hill. To avoid possible bushfires, climbers cannot light candles on their way up.

Despite the growing spending of Holy Week on vacations and beaches, the Philippines remains faithful to the Christian faith, unlike its Western counterparts. According to local official Urbina, all sectors are still cooperating to observe the Holy Week as it is part of their culture. (Source: PNA)

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