Maligayang Pasko ng Pagkabuhay – Happy Easter!!!
While I was growing up in the Philippines, the Easter celebration started at dawn around five o’clock with a procession heralding the resurrection of Christ and his reunion with Mary. After the mass at dawn, twin processions left the church led by statues of Mary, the Sorrowful Mother, and the Resurrected Christ, followed by women and men, respectively. The two processions went on opposite directions around the town plaza and then meet in front of the church on the way back. It was called salubong (meeting).
As choruses were sung, the statues “met”, meaning placed side by side beneath an arch adorned with flowers in front of the church. A little girl dressed as an angel, with wings and a halo, will remove Mary’s black veil with a long-handled hook. There were two or three girls on opposite sides of the arch on a raised platform throwing petals as the processions passed the arch. The veil removal was connected with superstitions about the harvest – a smooth unveiling meant a good harvest, a fallen veil drought. I used to participate in this tradition when I was a young girl. It was one of the most memorable days of my growing up years.