Family traditions run deep among Filipinos. For the Ignacio-Alajar family of Roxas City (Capiz), it has been for more than six decades that they have faithfully participated in the annual Good Friday parade with the central tableau of “The Crucifixion“. It is a tradition kept alive at present by the second-generation Ignacio-Alajars.
This is the essence of Good Friday – the crucified Christ flanked by Demas, the “good” thief and Gestas, the “bad” thief with the three closest people looking up at Him from the foot of the cross: Mary his mother, Mary the Magdalene and St. John.
This float (or carroza) has the most number of life-sized characters (the Last Supper, although having more characters, they are not scaled to size). And it is not peanuts trying to mount this float every year for the past six decades. A fact that is not lost among the third generation Ignacio-Alajars.
Preparations start actually several days (weeks?) before the scheduled procession. Each hair piece meticulously brushed, each costume washed and cleaned … the float decorated with fresh flowers and lighted up with a generator.
And the younger generation also participate as musicians, playing musical instruments as the float makes the circuitous route around the city. These “musicians” have been doing this for ages also, some of them based abroad and come home every Good Friday to fullfil this promise. And they are blessed abundantly for this religious “panata“.
There are traditions that we hope will continue forever. This, I fervently hope, will be one of them. For a long, long time.
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