|A splendidly painted backdrop by the samahang Alpha Spirits.|
Before being dubbed "Williamsburgos", Poblacion was often referred to as "Old Makati" (the way we refer to Escolta and etc. as "Old Manila"), with its centuries-old church, wet market, and old homes. I was delighted to find out, rather belatedly, that Semana Santa or Holy Week in Poblacion is a super big deal not just for its residents but for devotees from all over the metropolis, who make their way here each year to view and participate in the procession and pabasa. I am fascinated by it all, but am actually late to the game of appreciating religious celebrations, so I hope you forgive me if I have inaccuracies or incomplete information.
Each neighborhood is loosely organized into a samahan (association) that builds and manages a kubol (literally, a kind of temporary shelter or booth) each with its own unique religious statue (or two). The kubol is actually a tableau that is to be part of the kalbaryo, a procession narrating Jesus' journey of suffering up until his crucifixion and burial. You will find constructed scenery of differing quality, sometimes just a single printed tarp as background, other times, an elaborate, perya-horror-house levels.
|Everybody gathers around to watch the kubol construction.|
|The pasyon "songbook". The text at the bottom states: "The path of the Lord is the path of love".|
Solicitations also abound at this time for things like construction materials, official samahan t-shirts, and refreshments for devotees burning the midnight oil at the pabasa. Our local samahan promised, in exchange for our donation, unli-coffee and the privilege to hang around anytime. And because Holy Week this year came right before the mid-term elections, mayoral and konsehal candidates topped the handwritten lists of donations that hung at almost every kubol, a soft form of campaigning achieved by donating around Php500-Php2,500.
|Failed mayoral candidate Jun-Jun Binay tops this list of donors.|