SALUBONG: Philippines’ Way of Welcoming Easter Sunday

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Philippines, an archipelago of 7,100 islands in Southeast Asia has been known for being a Catholic Country. This doesn’t mean that all people here are Catholics but majority of the people here are catholics by religion. Being a catholic country, it is just normal in every Philippine municipality that you would be able to find a catholic church.

In times like Holy Week or others known to be the Lenten Season, the country is on holiday starting Maundy Thursday until Easter Sunday. Every Good Friday, there would be a procession known as “The Way of the Cross” wherein people will be touring around town and stopping 13 stations to pray. The catholics are doing such as a replica of what has happened to Jesus on his way to Calvary wherein He was crucified.

On the dawn of Sunday, every catholic churches all over the country will have a unique way of welcoming Easter. At about 4:00 am in the morning of Sunday, a huge crowd would be gathering in front of the church to do the SALUBONG. It is a Tagalog term which means “meeting up of two people”. It is believed that this is the SALUBONG of Jesus and His mother Mary after He has risen. There would be an arch made in front of the church wherein children having costumes of angels will gather and sing hymns as the Jesus and Mary meet in the center of the arch. There would be lead angel sitting in a suspended chair decorated with flowers. As the cart carrying the replica of Mary reached the spot of the lead angel at the center of arch, it will stop and the lead angel will remove her black veil. It symbolizes the end of Mary’s mourning for the death of her son.

After this event, the little angels will continue to sing joyful hymns as they throw flower confetti to the crowd. A lot of people would try to get flowers because they believe that these flowers will bring them good luck. This SALUBONG will be the mark of the Easter Sunday in the Philippines. Eater egg hunting will then follow later during the day while some families will enjoy swimming in the country’s beautiful beaches.