HOLY TRADITION. Members of the Formation Ministry of Quiapo Church, Manila preside over the “pabasa” (reading of the Passion of Christ) on Monday (April 11, 2022). The Holy Week tradition reminds the faithful of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (PNA photo by Raquel N. Bonustro)

MANILA – The observance of Holy Week is one of the most important occasions in the Catholic Church as it remembers the trials and sufferings of Christ.

One of the Filipinos’ unique traditions is the “pabasa” (to read), where the events leading to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ are recited through songs.

It has become a family gathering, with food and drinks prepared for participants.

The “pabasa” has also become a vow for those asking for favors, like Marites Cruz who is hoping she passes the board exam on Tuesday.

The Professional Regulation Commission held the Real Estate Brokers examination in the National Capital Region, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Legaspi, and Tacloban.

Sana makapasa sa board exam tomorrow (Tuesday) at tsaka matapos na rin yung pandemic natin ngayon (I pray that we pass the board exam scheduled for tomorrow and that the pandemic ends),” Cruz said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency on Holy Monday.

Fr. Douglas Badong, the parochial vicar of the Quiapo Church, said the “pabasa” is chanted for the people to easily understand God’s love and sacrifices for humanity.

Ganito kahalaga ýun. Inaalala natin yung mga pagpapakasakit, paghihirap, pagkamatay, pagkabuhay ni Kristo (This is how important it is. We remember the sufferings, sacrifices, death, and resurrection of Christ),” Badong said in an interview.

Ellen Pascual, a member of the Ministry of Collection of Quiapo Church, said she grew up in a family where Holy Week traditions are observed.

She said she feels light and relieved after participating in the “pabasa.”

Badong reminded Catholics that asking for forgiveness for sins requires a heartfelt confession.

“Ang turo talaga ng simbahan, para maalis ang kasalanan, ay sa pamamagitan talaga ng kumpisal at 'yun ang hinihiling natin na mas pahalagahan ng tao o ng mga Katoliko. Ang pagkukumpisal kasi dun talaga nalilinis (Church teaches us that confession is the way to ask for forgiveness. People should put more emphasis on this as it is the only way to get cleansed),” he said. (PNA)