A multimedia artist explores a Holy Week tradition of "Senturyon" in CALABARZON
Culture and The Arts

A multimedia artist explores a Holy Week tradition of "Senturyon" in CALABARZON

Apr 2, 2024, 6:54 AM
OpinYon News Team

OpinYon News Team

News Reporter

Television, stage, film and social media artist Frabk G. Rivera really took time out to explore the many rich cultural traditions in the country not only as a founding member and a prime mover of the newest award-giving body in the land, the Philippine LEAF (Live Entertainment, Fashion, Festival) Awards but as an individual researcher and teacher as well of arts and culture.

After going back to his hometown of Paete, Laguna and the neighboring communities in Quezon Province to witness Lent cultural practices, Frank went up to Angeles City in Central Luzon to watch the popular "senaculo."

After Angeles City, Rivera went down Southern Luzon, specifically in Catanauan, Quezon.

The following are Frank's accounts of his visit to Catanauan during the Lent season.

"In Quezon Province, the word senturyon refers to their menfolk who are Holy Week penitents who wear masks and dress up in either as an approximation of the look of the Roman centurions as in the case of San Narciso and Mulanay town, or as in Catanauan and Gen. Luna towns, those wearing head pieces or capes covered with colorful and bulky tufts of papel de hapon, crepe paper or ribbon strips holding rattan sticks, going places around the towns or barangays during the Holy Week in observance of their own practice of penance or sacrifice. The old folks of Catanauan town are vivid in their recollection of their parents’ or grandparents’ use of the roving senturyons’ presence to call them back home warning them that senturyons kidnap children who were naughty, noisy or even those simply loitering around during Holy Week. Those unfortunate kidnapped children, as the old folks would tell you, are killed (pinapatay), or worse, either beheaded (pinupugutan) or even eaten (kinakain)! Certainly the children were terrified of the sight of the senturyons, and for the rest of the Holy Week, are said to be better mannered and homebound."

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