02 03 Travel, Photographs and Lifestyle: SALUBONG AT CAGSAWA RUINS 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

SALUBONG AT CAGSAWA RUINS

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Bicol, Philippines - Since I was a child, I always look forward to the "Salubong" tradition every Easter Sunday. But my kuya and I were surprised to see the practice for the "Salubong" @ Cagsawa Ruins. As everybody knows, what is left of the church at Cagsawa is only the bell tower when Mayon Volcano erupted in 1814 and spewed lava that covered Cagsawa church and the surrounding areas.
The traditional Salubong is a popular event on Easter Sunday. It is a pre-dawn ritual that re-enacts the Risen Christ's meeting with His mother. It is performed within the churchyard under a specially prepared arch where the veiled image of the Virgin Mary is placed. As soon as the procession nears the church, the bells rang deliriously with joy, announcing the glorious resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ!   
       
Then the encounter of the Risen Lord and His Blessed Mother will take place. This is dramatized by the SALUBONG. Little children dressed as angels are slowly lowered by ropes from a high platform and they lift the mourning veil from the grieving Mother Dolorosa and announced to her the resurrection of her dearly beloved Son. The Virgin Mary would then be "Ang Birheng Nagagalak". In other parishes, the angel releases trained doves to snatch away the veil of the Virgin while in others, the angel attaches the veil of the Virgin to balloons to take it far up into the air.
           
While the Regina Coeli is being sung, the little angels scatter flowers and petals to the images of the Mother and Son. The people would then scramble to get the petals as a memento of the event. Farmers would often place these petals in their farm bed for good harvest.
             

The participants in the procession are segregated by gender. The men and boys follow the image of Jesus Christ, while women and girls follow the image of the Virgin Mary. The procession ends with the two groups meeting in the church, where Mass is said.

             
The "Salubong" is an authentic manifestation of Filipino piety and religiosity. Do you know of any counterpart or similar practice in other countries of the "Salubong"?
After every spectacular Easter Sunday Salubong and the solemn Mass, my cousins and I would proceed to our lola's house for an early breakfast of Cacao hot chocolate, suman ( rice cake wrapped in banana leaves and steamed to a sticky consistency) and bihon. Then, we would go to our respective rooms for a much deserved sleep.
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