ANGELES CITY- Thousands of devotees and tourists alike, beat the scorching heat and troop to this city’s Golgotha to witness the annual staging of “Siete Palabras”, April 14 in Barangay Lourdes Northwest.
Siete Palabras is a creative street dramatization of the the “Seven Last Words” of Jesus Christ performed by Angeleño theater group, Uyat Artista (UA), in partnership with the Angeles City local government and the Lourdes Northwest Barangay Council.
Now on its seventh year, the dramatic play under the creative direction of UA’s Jason Pabalan, lives up to its primary purpose of remembering the sacrifices that Christ has done for all humanity.
“Kapampangans, especially the Angeleños, are known for their deep devotion to Catholic Faith and we have been keen in manifesting our spirituality in different forms such as flagellation and the like. Thus, we are also able to show this act through theatrical arts,” said Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan.
The two-day street dramatization was held in two parts. LNW’s Arevalo basketball court housed the staging of the Last Supper which was presented in the evening of Holy Thursday. On the other hand, the Crucifixion of Christ continued in the afternoon of Good Friday at the Golgotha.
For this year, actor TJ Conui portrayed the role of Jesus Christ in the theater play as an expression of his devotion.
“It is a humbling opportunity to have played this role. It is not everyday that we get the chance to experience the pain that Christ has experienced to redeem the whole world from sins,” said Conui.
There were more than 7,000 spectators in the event including at least a hundred of foreign guests amassed to the makeshift Golgotha to witness the real life crucifixion.
AC Tourism Officer John Montances said that peace and order is one of the priorities of the city government.
“We have tapped the support of the Philippine National Police (PNP), our very own army reserve, and civic groups like Kabalikat, Citizen’s Crime Watch, and Cobra to assist us with public orderliness, safety, security, and other contingencies,” said Montances.
“Tourists, primarily foreigners and VIPs, were assisted by our PNP Tourist Police Unit (TPU) headed by PCI Rodrigo Sahagun. It is our vow to continue this tradition and make sure that all necessary support from the government are being extended to safeguard visitors and our people,” Montances added.
(AC-CIO with reports from Mary Joy Banal)