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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in the Philippines Series at FilipinoPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Filipino holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 5, Black Saturday. In Filipino, it’s called Sabado de Gloria.
Black Saturday is the last day of fasting, or pag-aayuno, for Catholics in the Philippines. Carrying over from the other days of the Holy Week, the solemn remembrance of the sacrifice of Jesus still continues on this day.
The activities on this day usually focus on preparing for the celebration of the resurrection. This celebration is called Salubong, or Easter Vigil.
In this lesson, you will learn how Filipinos spend Black Saturday preparing for Easter Sunday.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Why are children prohibited from playing in the streets on Good Friday and Black Saturday?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
For people in larger cities in the Philippines, Black Saturday is typically spent at home, where eating meat and drinking alcohol are prohibited. But in the countryside, many preparations are underway, especially for the procession for the coming Easter Sunday. This procession is unique because women and men participate separately. Both women and men carry candles, but women are tasked to follow the image of the Virgin Mary while men follow the image of Jesus.
After the procession, people gather outside the church, or simbahan, for a ritual led by the parish priest. Afterwards, all of the people will follow the priest into the dark church, where starting from the priest's lit candle, the parishioners will light their own candles one after another.
Almost in an instant, the whole church will light up through the flames, or sindi, from the people’s candles, bringing us to one of the most solemn moments in the celebration.
The Salubong is the reenactment of the Virgin Mary's meeting with the risen Jesus. Often, it is one of the largest reenactments to take place in the parishes, second only to the reenactment of Christmas. This reenactment, or pagsasadula, is performed in the middle of the mass where the mass starts at dusk. With the coming darkness representing the passing of Jesus, and after a short play of the resurrection, the mass ends at dawn, which symbolizes the resurrection.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Why are children prohibited from playing in the streets on Good Friday and Black Saturday?
This is because of the belief that if a person is injured on these days, it will never heal because Jesus is no longer alive to heal the wound, in Filipino called sugat.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you have similar beliefs during Holy Week?
Leave us a comment telling us at FilipinoPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!