Monday, April 27, 2009

moriones festival - a brief history

we were roaming around with Roman guards walking in groups coming from different corners. they were dominating the small rustic town of Boac in the island of Marinduque. the Moriones Festival, famous for its colorful masks of Roman soldiers, happens from Holy Monday until the Easter Sunday in the different towns of Marinduque but is largely participated in the towns of Boac, Gasan and Mogpog.it was believed to have originated in the town of Mogpog as early as 1807. until now, most of the masks are still made in this town. the Festival involves the roaming of these Roman soldirers aroud the town to scare the people especially the children as a symbol of their domination.it depicts the story of Longinus, the Roman Soldier with one eye blind, who pierced Jesus' body while crucified on the cross. the blood that spurted out from the body of Christ fell on Longinus' blind eye and was healed. from there, Longinus became a convert and was soon beheaded by the Romans.today, it has already evolved of which part of it is a competition which happens on Holy Thursday. several categories for the different Morion costumes were made to distinguish the quality of each Roman soldier.this year, it was its first time in the town of Boac, that they included a competition of the depiction of the Longinus story through a group presentation, which i'll feature in the coming posts of the Moriones series.during Good Friday, they also have a reenactment of the Crucifixion where some of the Morions played their role. its week long activities, will help you reflect and at the same time appreciate the town's tradition.to many, it seems like a mere competition, but behind every masks, is a devotion of the person to Christ. according to a man whom we met in Gasan, they do it for seven consecutive years to complete their devotion. Moriones Festival is indeed more than just a colorful festival.

Eskapo's Moriones series begins with this post. more more photos of the Moriones Festival in the coming posts.

73 comments:

witsandnuts said...

Colorful photos! Naalala ko nung bata pa ko, pag napapanood ko sa TV yung coverage for Moriones Fest natatakot ako sa itsura ng mask. As I see it now, it's actually colorful and festive.

Joe Narvaez said...

The Moriones Festival is a true Philippine treasure. I am glad you featured it. Great photos!

JoShMaRie said...

kuya. wats up?

gillboard said...

uy... i like this... di pako nakakapunta sa mga ganyan... looking forward sa mga susunod na post...

Cza said...

Great Photos! :D Nasa to-do list ko ang makaattend ng Moriones festival someday.. Hopefully sometime soooooon! :D Thanks for sharing. :)

Theonoski said...

Beautiful Mask!

Bengbeng said...

i come to the conclusion Philipinos are very religious ppl.it covers all aspects of life

the donG said...

witsandnuts, colorful masks i should say. for kids, they'll really look scary.

i hope you get to see it next year. keep in touch for more photos. see you in plurk.

>joe, that's true. in fact this i consider one of my favorite festival. it's my pleasure to present this festival thru my blog. thanks!

>hi josh, ito ok naman. dyan musta?

>gillboard, salamat sa pagabang. sana mapunta mo to next year.

>hi cza, thanks! yes. it should really be in your bucket list.

>theonoski, dami pang maganda. abangan na lang.

>bengbeng, maybe because we value our traditions and that we strongly believe in our God.

Skippyheart said...

Moriones Festival--very interesting feature dong =)

Have a great week ahead. Ingat lagi.

lagal[og] said...

napaka-colorful at meaningful ng moriones festival. kumusta nga pala crowds when you went there? right smack into holy week pa, dom, di ba?

kegler747 said...

Mukhang ang ganda talaga dto sa Marinduque. I won a 2-night stay sa Chateau du Mer Resort sa Boac and I am planning to use it maybe by the end of the year. It's nice to know na I could refer to your blog para sa mga pupuntahan sa Marinduque :)

Borneo Falcon said...

This is a very meaningful festival

Mayyang said...

wow! ang ganda naman ng festival na yan!!!... hmmm...sana makapunta aq sa mga ganyan.. buti kapa bro :)

thanks sa pag share! ingat :)

sheng said...

Oooooohh, i learned a lot from this post, i'll remember the story, who knows i might be visiting Marinduque once in my lifetime too.

luna miranda said...

i could almost believe these are giant soldiers...their masks are imposing! love the colors and the craftsmanship. looking forward to your next posts.

Pacey said...

It would have been fun for me too if I went during the festival. Your photos are really excellent, I have nothing I can compare with yours. LoL.

L.Reis said...

...learning with you once again...

Dennis Villegas said...

Great photography! You captured the faces of the Morion well!

Josh of Arabia said...

i remember now, itong festival na ito ang kinatatatakutan ko nong bata ako..moriones pala ang tawag dito..and those roman soldiers, morions?..

madalas itong gayahin sa aming lugar sa pasig ..

vivid shots, i could recal my fear as a kid :D

Joy said...

I've seen my fair share of Romans, and they don't look like that at all :D Anyway, I agree that the colourful festival is such an exciting event!

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dennisdesilva said...

sana naman, nililimit ang dami ng posts na ilalagay sa homepage at para di mahirap magload ang page sa computer ng mga taong mababagal ang internet.

saka masyadong dark ang color ng blog layout mo. parang hindi travel blog.

the donG said...

>hi rebecca, thanks! ikaw din ingat lagi.

>oggie, very meaningful nga. it's really worth a visit to this island during the holy week. that's why i already my schedule to go there again next year. the crowd was not that big yet that they dont need crowd control. you can even be on the stage while the competition is being held.

i really recommend you to visit this next year. sama tayo.

>kegler, that's great! if you can wait, i still recommend that you go there during the holy week. ill be posting some of the other places that we've visited after the moriones series.

>borneo, yes it is.

>hi mayyang, makakapunta ka rin. it's held annually in marinduque. so you'll have at least once a year of chance.

>hi sheng, it's good that you find it informational. yes i highly recommend this festival.

>hi luna, i too am impressed with how they made each masks. ganda kasi talaga. sana makapunta ka rin doon.

>hi pacey, you can do it next year. im sure with the colorful morions as your subject you'll really get good photos.

>l.reis, thanks!

>dennis, maraming salamat. makukulay din kasi talaga kaya magandang kuhanan ng litrato.

>josh, yes morions refers to the masks that they wear. medyo nakakatakot nga ito para sa mga bata. kakatuwa naman at may ganyan na rin pala kahit dito sa maynila.

>hi joy, hahaha... they just made it look that way to make it more imposing.

>dennis, ill try my best to limit the number of posts. i usually include the three last posts because usually other people catch up by those previous posts. but ill take note of that.

as for the layout, i really use black as the pictures as some of the colors of the photos looks better with a black background.

Miong said...

kadungog lang ko ani nga word "moriones" katong promotional song sa philippines. mao d i ni cya dong? nindot da.

cyndirellaz said...

the mask were scaery and seemed real! unique talaga tayung mga pinoy!

Pietro said...

Dong, this is a wonderful set of photographs about the Moriones Festival. Really interesting. These colorful masks of Roman soldiers remind me of the masks of the politicians that sometimes we see in our street parades! :-)

Carver said...

Very interesting post and great photographs.

Sardonyx said...

Thanks for sharing your photos of Moriones Festival. I'm proud to be a half Marinduquenan hehehe. My mom was from Boac, Marinduque. Awesome pictures and very vivid, galing talaga. Until now di pa ako nakakapanood ng moriones kasi ayokong umuwi ng holy week dun, super traffic at ang hirap magbyahe. Nine yrs na akong di nakakauwi sa Marinduque, nakakamiss. Kaya thanks much for posting these photos.

alicesg said...

Wow the photos are so well taken. Must be a very exciting festival. Any food there?

chubskulit said...

Wow very interesting, ganda siguro manood no?

ryliej said...

Parang Ibalong festival ng Albay... thanks for the history lesson hehehe..

john said...

Love those costumes, they look manly!

burn said...

Sumali ba ang moriones festival sa Aliwan Festival 2009?

Thanks for dropping by.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

This is a cultural treasure!

the donG said...

>miong, yes mao na siya.

>hi cyndirellaz, very unique in the philippines. there are similar festivals outside the country but not exactly the same.

>pietro, thanks! wow! i should see that. any samples?

>hi carver, thanks!

>sardonyx, that's great to know. i love the town of boac. it's rustic but beautiful. you shouldn't miss moriones. the crowd and the sometimes uneasy travel is still worth the experience. we will be there again next year.

>hi alicesg, thanks! there were food shops around the festival expo.

>hi chubs, ganda talaga. you'll really enjoy it.

>hi rylliej, never heard of that. ill try to search that in google. sounds interesting.

>john, you'll love it more when you see it there. the details of each masks will really amaze you.

>burn, no they didn't. they dont really perform like the ones that you see in aliwan but just this year they started doing group presentations but maybe not yet ready to compete for aliwan.

thanks too for dropping by.

>phivos, it really is. just keep in touch for more photos.

Shobe said...

parang i wana try those masks. haha.

ShatterShards said...

Unless my memories are playing tricks on me, I was able to witness a moriones parade performed on Good Friday at Pasay years and years ago. The masks are really imposing, especially to a kid barely out of kindergarten. And some Morions really go out of their way to bully the kids into crying. Good thing I wasn't one of them kids. hehe

Still, it would be wonderful to witness the authentic procession done on the streets of Boac. Will wait for the rest of the set. :-)
------

Hmmm... Magazines might do the trick. My novels are powerless kasi to ease the mental block, dahil hindi rin ako makapag-concentrate sa pagbabasa.

dennisdesilva said...

ano ba yan, pag di maganda ang comment at constructive critisism, binubura? ano kaya yun. ang sabi ko, parang sobrang dami ng posts mo sa homepage mo. ilimit mo lang para di naman kawawa ang mga taong mababagal ang internet. saka bumabaha ng pictures. minsan sumosobra na. at yung kulay ng layout mo, parang di pang travel blog... tsk tsk tsk.

eunice said...

That's interesting! I've never seen this before! Are there many festivals in the Philippines all year round? Nice shots.

jeanny said...

Awesome photos!

I havent experience anything like that. Wish ko lang makarating ako sa Marinduque. Because of this blog, dami ko ng gustong puntahan at nadidiscover na magagandang lugar sa Pilipinas and I thank you for that!

coolwaterworks said...

Beautiful portrait shots of those masks Dong... Looking foward to you additional posts on this series...

REDLAN said...

Medyo natakot ako sa moriones mask. Parang handang pumatay. hehehe.

Uy nakapanood ka ng Aliwan?

Yung nogas nga sabi ng friend ko ng magkita kami kahapon, maganda nga. Nakita niya sa TV. Wish ko bumalik ng antique

KRIS JASPER said...

Another adventure for Mr. Dong!

Chyng said...

i would to experrience moriones too! someday.. sasama ko sa college fren ko!

nice shots!

SandyCarlson said...

What beautiful faces! I love the drama you capture.

I am Xprosaic said...

Nice Post! Yipee! lapit na ang May travel travel ulit! jijiji... Travel more and feature more festivals! jijijiji...Ingats!

Aracir said...

hello dong, may call for submissions ang digital photographer na mag for event photography. I think you have very good event and festival photos. Apr 29 (bukas) na deadline.

http://digitalphotographer.com.ph/forum/showthread.php?t=24347

the donG said...

>hi shobe, im sure you'll still look cute and witty wearing that mask.

>shattershards, that's possible because people going there will surely be inspired to do the same in their own place. i even wish to be a morion in next year's moriones festival.

experiencing it there will really be something. sama ka next year?

salamat sa pag abang.

>dennis, i didn't delete your comment. if you review all the comments from the top, it's still there. you might just have missed seeing it because i even replied on your comment. i already reduced the number of post from four to three after reading your feedback. feedback are always welcome here.

>hi eunice, yes. there are festivals around the country whole year round. if you need more information just email me at i.dongho@gmail.com

>hi jeanny, thanks! it's nice to know that you find this blog helpful in where to go. im sure there's more to discover. kaya byahe na.

>coolwaterworks, thanks for anticipating. ill definitely post more morion shots.

>redlan, yon talaga gawain nila manakot. kaya magandang puntahan dahil unique sa marinduque ito.

wala ako sa aliwan dahil may planning kami.

ganda doon nakita ko na sa picture. feature mo ang nogas.

>jasper, one colorful adventure.

>hi chyng, let's do it next year. hope to see you there.

>hi sandy, thanks!

>xprosaic, salamat! may isang buwan pa para bumyahe kahit maulan. sige dami pa akong pending travel post kaya abangan mo lang.

>hi aracir, wow! that's nice. kaya lang point and shoot lang gamit ko. kakahiya naman sumali. pero ill check it out. salamat ng marami.

PUSANG-gala said...

kelan kaya ako makakanuod ng totoong festivals na ganyan? aliwan lang sa CCP Complex and natry ko e....keke

Ax said...

Gusto ko rin dyan! Gusto ko rin dyaaaaan!

gusto ko rin magsuot ng maskara? pwede ba yun? kahit di ko alam ang essence! ah, for religious offering din pala yun kay Christ!

Reena said...

ah so morion ang tawag sa mask? kala ko it's the person. :)

JayAshKal said...

Great masks - very colourful and reminds me of the Venice festival.

uncleawang said...

That's very interesting,great picture.

Luke Wiley said...

This event is brilliant! Love those masks!

Rawr Prince said...

wow.

the photos were great!

especially yung nasa huli.

feel na feel mo ang emotions. ^^,

nice one po!

olan said...

COLORFUL AND VIBRANT! That is how i define Moriones Festival! U just have give us the perfect and colorful picturesque image of this Festival Dom! Great great great captures!

Inkversified said...

there is something about how the masks are still made until today. from the pictures (they look very great), i see that they have retained the quality of these masks, they dont look like they have had much of outside influence - lest they would look like piolo or sam. we dont want that to happen, dont we?

Nyl said...

wow!great capture dong!their masks are very colorful and look realistic.

I am Xprosaic said...

Looking forward ako jan pareng Dong! jijijijiji...ingats!

backpacking philippines said...

hahaha...plan ko pumunta sana dyan last holy week kaso di nga natuloy. may officemate ako taga-dyan kasi...we might have bumped unto ech other sana :P someday na lang

the donG said...

>pusang-gala, halos whole year round naman ang mga festival sa atin. dito lang sa luzon dami na. kaya siguradong makakapunta ka rin.

>ax, pwedeng pwede yon. madali namang hiramin ang mga masks sa mga morions.

>hi reena, yes yon yung masks pero ganun na rin kung minsan tawag sa mga nakasuot nun.

>jayashkal, wow! i need to check that.

>uncleawang, thanks!

>luke, it happens only once a year here.

>rawr prince, salamat! mas masaya kung nandun ka mismo. sana makapunta ka.

>olan, maraming salamat. talaga ngang makulay ang moriones. sana makapunta ka rin dahil iba talaga kung ikaw mismo ang nandun.

>inkversified, na retain nga pero dami na ring mga modifications. may mga mukhang artista na rin. abangan mo na lang sa mga susunod na post.

>hi nyl, thanks! the morions are very colorful and unique.

>xprosaic, salamat sa pag abang.

>tutubi, sayang naman. next year punta ulit ako. sama na tayo.

Helena de TrĂ³ia said...

Romans went everywhere!!:-))

Heart of Rachel said...

Great photos! I can relate to witsandnuts. I used to be afraid of those men in roman masks when I was young but now that I'm older I realized that it's an interesting event.

malditasha said...

i like your posts, i love your photos and i like your lay-out. i dont see why you should limit the number of comments and feedback. if people have slow internet line and cant easily access your page, that's their problem...not fair to take it on you. keep well and keep on.

JM said...

All shots are gorgeous! Never heard of this festival before, thanks for the information.

Vic said...

wow! ang ganda ng mga masks.. very colorful! sana makapunta din ako jan sa marinduque! hehehe.. ;)

Hilda said...

Wow, the costumes are very well made! At least they don't look like broom heads anymore! :)

Nice to know about the 7-year devotion. Didn't know about that. Thanks!

Sandy B and Dick said...

You have captured the colors very well. Thanks also for the history.

Photo Cache said...

fascinating, dong. no wonder you went to cover it. must have been some experience.

Bart Tolina said...

Visit my blog
barttolina.blogspot.com
tnx!

katcarneo said...

This I sadly missed because I had to go back to Manila just days before the festival. I did see the preparations of the people and locals happily shared about their experiences participating in Moriones. Some also gladly exhibited their masks that have been in their families for years. I can see the costumes and the colors are very lively in those shots.

the donG said...

>hi helena, not sure in the philippines. these were just done as reenactment.

>hi rachel, i think it's a usual impression. now you can really appreciate the history behind it.

>hi malditasha, thanks. nice to know that you like it but im always open to feedbacks like that.

>jm, thanks! you should visit the philippines.

>hi vic, sana nga. sama ka next year.

>hi hilda, it has now evolved. about the devotion, i also didnt know about it not until we met one morion and told us about it.

>hi sandy, thanks too for dropping by.

>hi photocache, yes. ive been longing to see it since i only see it on books.

>bart, i will. thanks for dropping by.

>hi kat, you'll have the chance to see it next year. you can already plan ahead. im sure you'll like it.

it's also good that they were already preparing it when you were there. the tradition of passing on the masks shows that the masks somehow represent their heritage.

mimi said...

ganda ng mga mask!

Cagayan de Oro map said...

Now I get it. good thing I read the post.http://www.cdokay.com/

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