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Arts & Culture

Philippine Holy Week Traditions You Grew Up With

The pandemic has changed a few of them.

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Photography: Lenten rites in Pampanga, taken in March 2013. (Shutterstock/Tony Magdaraog)

Five hundred years ago, the Spaniards came to the Philippines and conquered it through the Sword and the Cross. While the Islands may not have been the singular country it now is back then, its teritorries had its own governments, laws, and trading practices. Catholic indoctrination thus led to a clash of cultures that created traditions which assimilated local lore, many of which are still practiced today.

With the ongoing pandemic, these traditions had to shift. For Lent, many churches have gone online to offer digital Visita Iglesia tours, and masses are livestreamed on social media. It will take time before these ceremonies are allowed to gather crowds again, but while they've evolved, they would almost certainly live on for years to come.

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