Moriones Festival is one of the reasons why tourists from all over the world and even from other provinces in Philippines keep on coming to Marinduque especially during the Holy Week.
The Pride of Marinduque
The island of Marinduque is geographically located at center of the Philippine archipelago that’s why it is called the heart of Philippines. It is considered as the Lenten hub of the Southern Tagalog region because of the well-known Moriones festival. Moriones festival however was influenced by the Spanish colonization and is recognized as part of the Roman catholic culture and tradition.
Moriones Festival is the re-enactment of the life story of Jesus in His suffering, seizure, chastisement and crucifixion. The Roman soldier, Longinus is famous during this festival for being a convert into Christianity when his full eyesight was restored because of the blood of Jesus that flowed out of His side when He was pierced by Longinus’ spear. As a result he left his fellow centurion and went on to share the good news and the miracle he experienced. The soldiers seized him four times and ordered to be beheaded.
Moriones Festival Attires and Costumes
The week-long celebration starts at the early morning of Holy Monday and ends its climax on the Easter Sunday.
The local men are dressed and full armored with colourful wooden mask covered with black beard and smeared with huge black eyes, mouth wide-open and pink skin color that resembles a face of a fierce-looking Roman soldier. This mask disguises their true identity, because they don’t want to gather public appreciation and applause from people for what they regard as penance for their sins.
They are also wearing a rainbow colored costumes sometimes made up of silk decorated with foil and flower styles. Some are wearing a naked-chest like wood costume that covers their entire chest up to their belly. They are also wearing a sandal resembling a Roman soldier’s sandals with many straps.
Moriones Festival is one of the most colourful folk-religious street festivals in the country. Tourism in this country is greatly enjoyed by foreign visitors every year.