Holy Week—the formal observance of the Lenten Season in our country—has always been considered as one of the most awaited occasions in the Philippines. Being a religious event, most Filipinos would observe Panaad or the Penitential Walk, however, for some, Lenten Season is also the best time to unwind and travel with friends and families. If you want to have a fulfilling and fun Lenten Season, here are some of the places around the archipelago of the Philippines that you should visit. These places do not only offer unique and meaningful Lenten activities but also have a picturesque view, a perfect way indeed to spend the summer season:

Marinduque

An island province situated in Region IV-B MIMAROPA, Marinduque is known as the Lenten Capital of the Philippines. Marinduque is a popular site during the Lenten Season because of the Moriones Festival, the country’s famous Holy week festivity in the country. This festival starts during Holy Monday and culminates on Easter Sunday. The Moriones Festival is actually a reenactment of the story of St. Longinus, a Roman Centurion who was converted into a Christian after witnessing God’ power through a miracle. Penitents from Marinduque would dress up like Roman centurions with colorful masks and would then search the whole town for Longinus. They would roam around the streets and would do a lot of antics like flirting with the ladies and scaring the children. Once they found Longinus, they would present him to Pontius Pilate, who would be later judged by the Pharisees. The story ends with Longinus being executed during Easter Sunday.

Bantayan Island

Bantayan Island is part of Cebu province and is situated in the northern west end of Cebu Island. During the Holy Week, Bantayan Island observes annually the Pasko sa Kasakit (Semana Santa sa Bantayan). All throughout the week, especially during Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, religious rites like processions are common in the island. However, their procession is quite unique since it features life-sized statues that were sculpted during the 1980s. Most of the religious activities in Bantayan are held in their white sand beaches.

San Fernando, Pampanga

If you want to experience another unique way of celebrating the Lenten Season, then perhaps, you should visit San Pedro Cutud in San Fernando, Pampanga. San Pedro Cutud is notably known for its true-to-life reenactment of the Passion of Christ. This is held during Good Friday.

Sta. Barbara, Iloilo

In Sta. Barbara, Iloilo, the Lenten Season is made more meaningful through singing. It has been part of the town’s tradition during Holy Week to present the Kapiya Display and Pasyon Singing Contest. This religious activity features a montage which shows the 14 Stations of the Cross. Instead of the usual chant during the Passion of Christ or Pasyon, the parts are sung.

These are just some of the places around the country where your Lenten Season is guaranteed to become meaningful and at the same time fun. And there are still more places in the country that offer equally interesting activities for you and your family during the Holy Week.