Monday, September 26, 2011

San Jose Del Monte Bulacan Holy Week 1980's to 1990's

I was cleaning my room last weekend when I stumbled upon some old Holy Week photos taken from my hometown. It was really nice to see these photos again. Unfortunately as much as I would want to be able to recall what happened when these photos were taken, I can no longer seem to be able to...thus the title...where's a pensieve when you need one! Hahaha...

22082011119 (Small)

This photo struck me the most. Ever since I was young until now, this tradition constantly amazes me. This photo shows how I was introduced to this tradition and explains how my love and passion for this socio-religious activity came to be...


Here's a dream, to be able to get photographs of our hometown's Holy Week activities from the pre-war era until 2003 (since from 2004 onwards, I started documenting it already--my first digital camera...brings back memories...).

...where and how to start......

For now I will satisfy my curiosity by looking at these photos that I have...


22082011113 (Small)we had to rely on people's looks and common sense to date the photos...I am assuming as well that my parents started taking Holy Week photos this year since they received an SLR camera as a wedding present in 1982.

Imagine I was not born yet when this photo was taken. I googled Holy Week date in 1983, Palm Sunday was on March 27th, Good Friday is April 2nd and Easter Sunday (I assume when this photo was taken) is April 4th.

Sad that people don't take a lot of photographs back then since you have at most 36 shots per roll of film and you would have to go to film stores to have it developed...


22082011119 (Small)

And now we are back to the first photo I shared with everyone. I am not sure if this was taken during Good Friday or Easter Sunday (before the Salubong) even if the Dolorosa is wearing a black dress since back then our family's Dolorosa used to wear a "one-sided" dress which they pin on top of the Salubong Vestment usually a blue dress. After the angel removes the black veil, someone from my family would climb atop the carroza, and remove the black dress. I can no longer remember when this practice was stopped and why it was stopped however I am sure that we are no longer doing this when we changed the image's carroza in the 90's.

22082011128 (Small)

Here's another photo of me and the image, although this time I think this picture was really taken before the Salubong since if you look at the veil you'll notice that under the black lace is a blue satin fabric (this fabrics are still existing today, I still see it and the black lace is still being used at times)...

22082011109 (Small)

And the procession continues...

Succeeding photos were taken after the Salubong rites, I am definite about this...

22082011102 (Small)

22082011100 (Small)

Although I don't like seeing children on top of carroza's (riding) I cannot deny that I had my own fair share of this experience...

22082011116 (Small)

At the Church I wish I can move the view of the photo and actually see the church...I can no longer remember how it looked like but I assume the structure is beautiful. The new facade is what sticks to my mind however feedback is, the Parish Priest was very loyal to the original structure maybe I did not miss much...i dunno...

The "constant" San Francisco

22082011115 (Small)

22082011106 (Small)

22082011126 (Small)

The remaining plot of land of my Great Grand Mother in San Jose Del Monte Bulacan, no one can claim it since this is for the Dolorosa.

I find the tent in the background interesting...I never experienced that...we always sleep in the carroza's garage which is now that means the garage is a relatively new structure.

Another photo from the Mid-80's

22082011123 (Small)
En-route o the Galilea, Dolorosa wearing the "one-sided" dress...


Salubong 80's on the way to the Galilea (Small)

22082011104 (Small)

I am wondering why the Dolorosa is not wearing the black "one-sided" dress, I mentioned above, in this photo...this is en-route to the Galilea.

22082011103 (Small)

22082011124 (Small)

22082011122 (Small)

If there's one thing I like about being the owner of a Dolorosa is having the privilege to be always in front of the Galilea...

Salubong 80's at the Church (Small)
The story of the two Resucitado's. Before there were two families who owns images of the Risen Christ, one big and one small. They take turns in bringing out their image of Christ to join the Salubong procession...however from what I heard, there came a time when the owner of the big image met some difficulty and asked the family who owns the smaller one, to take over for them. I don't know when this happened but for as long as I can remember, it has always been the small Risen Christ joining the Salubong

More family pics

22082011121 (Small)

22082011108 (Small)

Although what's sad when I look at these photos...

We used to be a full force Maiquez clan back in the 80's but now it's no longer that way...some changed religion (due to marriage) either becoming Iglesia or Born Again Christians--which both denounces religious images; some migrated abroad to Canada and the Middle East etc etc...the number of relatives participating is dwindling as the years go by and I earnestly pray that this changes soon.


Salubong 80's (Small)
Reyna sa Langit, magalak ka...sapagkat ang iyong anak ay muling nabuhay, Alleluia, Alleluia

22082011112 (Small)

Salubong...I am starting to notice a trend here...we don't like taking photos during Good Friday...I remembered something when I saw the sampaguita tied on the sticks...the sampaguita's arrived late and they were in a hurry to prop that up on the sides of the looks really nice...

Early 90's

The Dolorosa now has a new carroza. I remember asking my Dad repeatedly to describe to me how the new carroza looks like, it was my version of a bed time story...

And finally I saw it...

22082011141 (Small)

The 90's is interesting because you will now see the transition from using mostly plastic floral decoration (from time to time the only fresh flowers you'll see are sampaguita garlands) to fresh flowers...from traditional to avant'll see what I mean in the next set of pictures...

22082011143 (Small)

If I remember it correctly, my family decided to use fresh flowers due to "space" issues...storing boxes of plastic flowers requires a lot of space and where would you keep it? Plus the quality of plastic flowers degrades after every use. And I guess by this time, fresh flowers are no longer as expensive...

I also noticed that the crown used by the Dolorosa is different now, gold plated versus the silver one used in the 80's. I wonder where that crown is right now? I find the shape and the look of the crown (80's) very interesting and unique...

Mid 90's, 1996

First Pabasa in our house. I remembered how excited I was when the image was brought to our house. I cannot sleep. The image was in our sala and I was just in there sitting near the image, staring at's strange how back then I always think that the image is very when I look at it I can't believe how relatively small it is...

22082011097 (Small)

In this photo, you'll still notice the stick like extensions of the crown which used to be sewn on the vestment to fix the crown in place (and avoid it scratching the face of the image)

Profiles of the Dolorosa

22082011096 (Small)

22082011111 (Small)


What can you say about the Christmas Inspired Galilea?

22082011087 (Small)

22082011093 (Small)

I feel that the image changes whenever it is on top of a carroza...she becomes more beautiful...

Although we own the Dolorosa, strangely no one from the Family has ever been an Angel, who removes the veil after the cue of the Parish Priest. I guess it would be strange to buy back the veil from a family member. We call this practice "tubos" wherein after the Salubong someone from the family pays the angel in exchange for the black veil..

The Jungle Carroza

Salubong Pre-millenium (Small)

I still remember how my relatives went non-stop teasing and making fun of the carroza arrangement. If there's one negative thing about my family is that people are frank, mean-frank...they don't waste time to say what they want...leading to misunderstanding and a lot of tampuhan...

22082011099 (Small)

But you can't go more avant garde than this point in time a precedence of outlandish yet carefully designed floral arrangements has been the norm. My family is somehow blessed with a lot of talented people of varying crafts...I have an uncle who specializes in industrial lighting (including houses and even concerts) he's in charge of electrical wiring and the like; I have an uncle who is an engineer turned landscape design artist who basically designs the carroza of the image year after year...I have lola's and Aunties who are good in sewing and the list goes on and on...

Salubong Pre-Millenium on to the Church (Small)
A pre-millenium bug salubong...


22082011086 (Small)

Note that since the mid-90's the carroza posts are no longer used. Lighting took a second after carroza floral decoration. My uncle in-charge of lighting would always say, decorate the carroza first and then he'll proceed with his work lighting up the carroza...for this year you'll notice the DIY halogen stands used...

22082011142 (Small)

This year, a family friend designed the carroza she's the one holding the ferns at the far right corner of the photo.

Family @ Work

22082011140 (Small)

22082011139 (Small)

I think this is the first time we used "dyed-flowers."

22082011129 (Small)

22082011130 (Small)

End result, a relatively tamer and traditional carroza arrangement for the Dolorosa. Some relatives said that after a long time this was the first time the Parish Priest mentioned that the carroza was decorated beautifully. I remembered when I had my Kristong Gapos first join the procession, was able to have a short conversation with the Parish Priest, he mentioned that our family has always been very creative...I used corns that year...


22082011133 (Small)

22082011132 (Small)

22082011135 (Small)

In the 80's, the Dolorosa is used both in the Good Friday and Easter procession. In the Mid-90's the clasped hands of the Dolorosa is changed every Easter to hands positioned as if she is clapping (rejoicing since her Son is alive!)...from mid-2000 onwards another image is used, now as the Virgen Alegria

After the Procession

22082011137 (Small)

Oh the awkward teenager years...hehehe...

22082011138 (Small)

The carroza from clouds...

These photos provides a glimpse of my childhood, and of course of my hometown's Holy Week tradition. So much have already changed from the 80's to present, some good some bad...some for the better, some for the worse...some are missed some are just right...however I hope and pray that this will go on forever.

A story of Changes

1. A different Image?

This has been one of the huge controversies surrounding the image. Some relatives are saying that the Dolorosa we are using now is no longer the original. It is totally different. I am not sure whether this is right or wrong but if you look at the old photographs it seems really different. I don't know what to believe. Part of me says maybe...but a majority in me still believes that this is still the original since if I look at the bottom part of the head (the side attached to the body) you'll notice signatures written by some members of the family. That for me authenticates the image. The image has been restored a couple of times already unfortunately no success in bringing back it's old charm...maybe my family is just too critical about it but with a series of failed attempts no one is really brave enough to try including me...oh you wouldn't want to hear the rantings of my Lola's. There was a time when the encarna was pasty white which further strengthen the claim of some relatives that this is no longer the original image...I mean why would you let something like that happen to the original? But as I said, I still believe that this is the original we just have to find the best person to restore it. Who would have the guts to start another restoration work...that I don't know we'll see in the future definitely not me...hahaha (maybe in 2015 when it's my turn to be the care taker of the image)

2. The Caretaker role

Before this responsibility is given to one of my Lolo's who owns the house my Great Grandmother resides. After many years after her death and a lot of misunderstandings over a plot of land and other little things turned big...the family decided to have this responsibility shared among the children of my Great Grand Mother. They are now my 8 Lolo's and Lola's who take turns year after year sponsoring the Pabasa and the carroza (although funding is still shared by the whole family--but that is with controversy as well).

3. The Image's appearance

The 80's as seen in the pictures show a very traditional Dolorosa. I still remember how the Dolorosa was dressed back then, the Salubong vestments are put on first, afterwards, the "one-sided" black dress is pinned on top of this. The veil's length at the front should not touch the floor. I think the Dolorosa was dressed this way since after the Good Friday procession the image will be brought inside the Church. This practice has long been stopped. Aside from the entrance now made lower, the number of carroza's participating will no longer fit inside the church.

In the 90's up to present, the design for the image's vestment and accessories are more varied. We are no longer limited by the traditional dress and veil...the image can now be seen wearing cape's, an apron like skirt etc. The image has already tried on different looks, a relative commented once that one of my Lola's who lived in Marilao is trying to make our own Dolorosa look like the images in Marilao. Her crowns changed as well from the traditional resplenador to tiaras to huge corona imperial and mickey mouse crowns. I guess that somehow has become one of our family's tradition as well that she has new vestments every year (related to number 2 since there will be different care takers every year).

Also in the 80's and 90's the Dolorosa is both used during Good Friday and Easter processions (we only have two processions in San Jose), now the Dolorosa is exclusive for Good Friday and for Easter we use a newly commissioned Virgen Alegria. At first this was not readily accepted by some of my lolo's and lola's but in the end they can no longer do anything...

But how do you protect traditions? And who is to say which is wrong and which is right? Which is to be changed and which is to remain? Isn't it just a reflection of the times? I guess what happened to our family is, people saw other options maybe from nearby towns; or maybe just realized that it is no longer practical...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this... Though you focused on the Santos and Carrozas, it still is part the culture and history of our town San Jose del Monte... Kudos to you sir!

    Romel of