Text and Photos by Jennifer Ellson | Additional Photos by Tourism Philippines
Lent has several names in the Philippines – Semana Santa, Mahal na Araw, Holy Week – however you call it, one thing is certain: it is a BIG DEAL in the Philippines (but self-flagellation & crucifixion are not!)
For meat lovers, however, a word of warning: it is probably the only time when the Philippines turns vegetarian, or fishetarian for the not-too-religious.
Being a predominantly Catholic country, Lent is a significant religious festival in most parts of the nation’s 7,107 islands. It is elaborately celebrated with gruesome re-enactments of the final hours of Jesus’ life, where real penitents wear makeshift crowns of thorns, whipping themselves in silent processions and ending with crucifixion, for real!