The Holy Week is a way to remember Jesus Christ's passion, death, and resurrection. During this time, the Catholic faithful in the Philippines take a pause to reflect Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross and His victory over sin and death.
The Holy Week tradition starts with a Palm Sunday, where people bring palm fronds to church to be blessed by the priest. Also, the ritual symbolizes the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. People believe the blessed "palaspas" drives away evil spirits and attracts good fortune.
Also, there's "Pabasa" or the chanting in public of the Pasyon, which is an Gregorian epic poem narrating the life of Jesus Christ from birth to resurrection. The reading usually starts on Holy Monday, or earlier in some regions.
During Maundy Thursday, people visit at least seven churches in town. The tradition is called Visita Iglesia or church visit, which is an act to meditate on the Way of the Cross.
On Good Friday, the Catholic faithful goes through the Station of the Cross. At noon, parishioners remember Jesus' "Seven Last Words." Priests share inspirational message and lesson to the people to reflect on each of the 7 expressions of Jesus Christ while on the cross.
At 3 pm, the time Jesus was said to have died, the Veneration of the Holy Cross is observed. Also, everyone falls into utter silence to contemplate the death of Christ.
After the mass, there is a procession for the Santo Entierro, which a wooden sculpture representing the dead body of Jesus Christ
In some cities and regions of the Philippines, a passion play called the Senakulo is staged in the afternoon. The Senakulo is a Filipinized account of Jesus' passion, death, and resurrection. The tradition is highlighted by Christ's crucifixion. It is followed by a procession of devotees who sometimes nailed themselves on a cross as an expression of penance.
The church is in a state of mourning after the death of Jesus Christ. The cross inside the churches is covered by a black cloth. In some parishes, the cross is covered for the entire Lenten season.
Everybody is in a festive mood during the Easter Sunday. The celebration starts with a dawn mass called the "Salubong," where people have processions with an image or statue of the risen Christ. In addition, people prepare bountiful food and some would even do the west-influenced Easter egg hunting.