Semana in Abra

>> Saturday, April 29, 2017

Ginalyn Brioso

BANGUED, Abra -- The just concluded season of Lent is one of the most highly celebrated occasions of the Catholics in the country next to Christmas and New Year.
In Catholic Faith and other Christian denominations, Lent or Semana Santa is a season of prayer, fasting and abstinence. It is a 40-day occasion that starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday.
In Bangued, people who work in the city find time to come home to spend the Semana with their families and friends. And because Semana falls on summer, they usually go to beach resorts like in Mayana's, Monte Verde, Mountain View, Sun Rise, Lusuac-Lagayan and other resorts for picnics and to beat the heat.
But other than body tanning in rivers and resorts here, one attraction they never fail to miss is the annual Libot or Stations of the Cross. Libotis a procession beginning Holy Tuesday joined by people in the locality to commemorate the passion and death of Jesus Christ.
The main attractions during the Libot are the abung-abung (stations) decorated by the locals. Abung-abung varies in sizes and built. Smallabung-abung  is  decorated with banbannaasi (grass variety) entwined in the pillars and palm or coconut leaves in the roof. Big abung-abungis built with bamboo that stands in the both sides of the street. Some abung-abung also display led lights for lighting effects  rendering a remarkable sight in the evening and    wide screen television playing The Passion of Christ.
 Fruits and vegetables available in the locality are hanged in the abung-abung. These include turnips, tomatoes, eggplants, mangoes, bitter gourd and dalandan.
 This practice that began long time ago is a way of the Abrenios to offer their humble yield to Jesus Christ who gave His life for the salvation of mankind.
Lola Pining, 90, a known Nazarene devotee from Bangued said, “It’s not in any way sullying the commemoration of His suffering but offering the humble fruits of our labor to God for giving His only Son to save us. And our salvation is enough to be festive about, isn’t it?”
The most beautiful part, said Lola Pining, is seeing all the people in the community work together for their abung-abung and joining as one in the Libot. Misunderstandings and feuds are set aside as forgiving and repentance govern the heart, she said.
It is not a complete Semana in Abra without the famous Lectio or Pabasa, the song of Mary during the suffering of her Son, Jesus on His way to His death at Mt. Calvary.
Also known for their creative live re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross are the towns of Bucay and Dolores.


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