Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Pagsasanto Story...How I ended up Owning Images

Why have I become interested in "santo's" or religious images? I have always asked myself that question way back in high school when I started to realize that not all share the same passion and interest as I do (even my barkada from high school and still my close friends until now)...I think I am the only one really interested to think that I am studying in a catholic school. In my 4 years completing secondary education, I was only able to meet 1 other person who owns a processional Holy Week image, the grandson of the owners of the Paciencia in Calumpang.

Holy Week Tradition

The answer for me is really no-brainer. I grew up with this kind of family tradition already in place and very much alive. Ever since I can remember, we've been making the yearly trips to San Jose del Monte Bulacan to participate in the Holy Week Procession of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Poblacion. Our family owns the "Mater Dolorosa" or Mary as the sorrowful mother which has been joining the procession in my calculation roughly for more than 50 to 75 years (unfortunately I do not have actual records to determine the exact date, all I have are stories of my lolo's and lola's).

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Our Family's Dolorosa, during her brief stay with us in 2007, she will next be here, crossing my fingers in 2015

When I was a child, Holy Week is like Christmas for me...I look forward to it every time and I feel sad whenever it is over. During summer vacation, I feel that it takes forever for it to arrive, and when it is over I feel that summer is ending...too soon. Also whenever I am inside a moving vehicle, I always imagine a long procession trailing behind our car or besides my window, I imagine a carroza passing by. I also try to make my toys look like mini-santos atop remote control cars, train coaches etc(this same child's play gave birth to the Caru-caruhan tradition in Rizal) and my bed is the church. I can still remember the image of the Dolorosa I used, it was a small figurine (with a stamp at the base) of Princess Allura of Voltron, the popular 80's anime series.

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Study of the image. Our Family's Dolorosa, during her brief stay with us in 2007

I know I wanted my own image ever since I was young. I want to make the decisions from what the image is to wear, to how the carroza will look like. (Although right now I am thinking that the effect Holy Week and Santo's have on me before, when I was younger is different feels less amazing and spectacular...may be it's just me growing up and getting exposed to a lot more santos via the countless exhibits and processions I have seen...but I would not change a thing...I'd still want a santo of my own).

When I was in college, during breaks I would bury myself in the Filipiniana section of UP's main lib looking for books on Santo's...the best book I found is Laya's Prusisyon book documenting Intramuros' GMP (although by this time GMP is not really something new to me). I also tried searching for the references cited in the book. I also utilized the library's video collection of 80's to 90's news magazine shows eg Che-Che Lazaro's old shows, watching short segments on Holy Week (given that these shows feature things based on the season as well).

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After our Family's Dolorosa, this is the next best thing, a small "dress-able" image of the Sto. Nino from Paete

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A small Byzantine-inspired cross, a Christmas gift for my lola

Balara Fiesta Tradition

Aside from my strong Holy Week inclination, San Antonio's Fiesta in Balara is another strong influence. (see entries on Balara's Fiesta, go to the Fiesta Page)

Dream Come True

In October 2006, I picked up my very first image from the shop of Jodee near UST. It was an image of Our Lady of Fatima which at that time I thought is a fitting image to be used during our community's fiesta.

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From L-R: Block Rosary image of Our Lady of Fatima; My image of Our Lady of Fatima dressed as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, to commemorate the Feast

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Using old vestments of San Antonio, my image of Our Lady of Fatima dressed as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, to commemorate the Feast

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My image of Our Lady of Fatima in gold, using an old Salubong dress used by the Dolorosa years ago...

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San Jose, I have always dreamt of owning an image of the Holy Family. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us...a phrase I have learned since High School, I remember always putting JMJ in all my test papers, a format required in High School which I still brought with me in College...

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