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.