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April 18, 2014

Baliuag Bulacan procession on Holy Week

Betrayal of Jesus
Betrayal of Jesus 

     Every Holy week, in the observance of Catholic religious activities in the Philippines, some churches are holding a Lenten procession which starts at 7:00 in the evening of Good Friday from the Church and ends at the Church.   The procession has carriages with statues of Jesus Christ and other biblical icons which depicts the story of Jesus’ crucifixion.  The number of carriages varies in every Church because it depends on its community on how many families or organization has their own and who has enlisted to join the procession. 



     St. Augustine Parish Church in Baliuag, Bulacan holds the record of the longest Lenten procession in the Philippines with the number of carriages that does not fall below eighty annually which is being held on Holy Wednesday and Good Friday.  The procession would finish in almost two hours.

     The carriages vary in sizes and shape, from simple to luxuriously decorated, manually being pushed and pulled to roll its wheels, some are motorized or carried by a truck, and some with the aid of electric generators  to light all the lights in the carriage.  Most are attractively fascinating and you would conclude that the owner is from a wealthy family with the lavish and laborious decorations and size of the carriage.  Some carriages could occupy the width of the street and others have long bamboo stick poles that the crews on the carriage would extend to hold upward the electrical cables that are dangling which may trap the tip of the gigantic size of the carriage.

     Last year we had the opportunity to witness the 96 carriages and here are some of them:

Presentation of Jesus in the temple
Presentation of Jesus in the temple

Crowning of thorns
Crowning of thorns

Crucifixion of Jesus
Crucifixion of Jesus

The other person on the cross
Act of Forgiveness on the other person on the cross

Jesus died on the cross
Jesus died on the cross

Jesus ascension
Jesus ascension 

How to go to Baliuag, Bulacan from Manila with your own vehicle:


On a Good Friday, the stretch of EDSA to NLEX has low traffic so you could easily reach Balintawak interchange toll plaza or Smart Interchange toll plaza to get to NLEX.  There are three NLEX exits you can choose to go to Baliuag. 

1.  Plaridel Exit – After Malolos-Tabang Interchange comes Plaridel Exit.  Follow the main road of Plaridel Road until you reach the dead end, General Alejo Santos Highway (Bustos, Bulacan)  turn left.  Turn left again after the Caltex  Gas Station and turn right at second street, C.L. Hilario Street, follow the road until you reach the dead end and turn left, Calle Rizal then turn right Benigno Aquino Avenue, just follow the road and you can see the town plaza.

2.  Sta. Rita Exit – After Plaridel exit comes Sta. Rita Exit, just follow the highway, Remedios Highway and you will pass by SM City and then you will reach an Overpass, don’t pass on it use the ground road, turn right at Jollibee Baliuag, Junction, Benigno Aquino Avenue.  Just follow the road until you reach the Baliuag town plaza.

3.  Pulilan Exit – After Sta. Rita exit comes Pulilan exit.  Just follow the main road until you reach the Dona Remedios Highway and Pulilan highway intersection.  Your landmark is the Pulilan market on the left and Jollibee across it.  Turn left at the intersection, Remedios Highway, and follow the same route as I have mentioned on Sta. Rita exit.

 These are the easiest ways you can reach Baliuag, Bulacan using your own vehicle and there are other alternate routes using the side streets.

Things to remember in watching the procession:


1.  Arrive two to three hours before if you want to watch the procession at the town plaza or near the Church so you can find a parking for your vehicle. 

2.  You can watch out for the announcement of St. Augustine Church on the route of the procession so you can wait and watch there. 

3.  Bring food or snack, or make sure you ate a heavy meal before going to watch the procession.  If you are situated in the town plaza there are restaurants nearby.  
4.  Bring your own portable or foldable seat. 

5.  Don’t be noisy and criticize the parade, respect the Catholic rituals because the people who are in the parade are also praying while enduring the long walk as part of their penitence. 


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