Easter Sunday is celebrated almost worldwide. But nowhere is it celebrated with more gusto and commitment than in the Philippines. This religious feast, sometimes “Pasko ng Pagkabuhay” (Christmas of the Resurrection) or “Pista ng Pagkabuhay” (Feast of the Resurrection) in the vernacular, is very special second to Christmas. In fact, thousands flock to the provinces for this Philippine fiesta.
The whole Lenten Season, in fact, is observed like a religious feast. Though the faithful is urged to observe it in silent and sorrowful rumination (and self-sacrifice), most Filipinos, including tourists, celebrate Holy Week in the countryside with feasting (instead of “fasting”) and fun. A lot of town fiestas coincide with Good Friday and the Philippine fiesta of the Resurrection or Easter.
The religious feast is observed this way. As early as 4:00 in the morning (after a “Pabasa” or rhymed and tuned reading of the gospel the night before) devotees of this Philippine fiesta, Easter, rise up to prepare a sumptuous lunch and supper for the guests. At times the community jointly does this, sometimes it happens per household. Some proceed to the church this early for a Sunrise Service (the protestants have their “Dawn Worship”) as a preliminary celebration of this religious feast, Easter. Then later in the morning, more Easter Sunday masses are held to accommodate as many devotees as possible.
In some Catholic and Protestant churches, this Philippine fiesta is observed with games and fun, like Easter egg or bunny hunting and other treasure hunting games. If the occasion coincides with the town fiesta (which often happens), the town plaza will be filled with carnival fun and games the rest of the day. The reason for this extravagant religious feast is that there ought to be as much merriment in Easter as possible because Jesus rose from the dead.
The hearty meals that follow are full of native dishes and delicacies, often local specialties. Anybody can join and eat. In summary, the Ilocanos of the North would serve their Pinakbet among others, the Tagalogs their Kare-kare among others, the Visayans their Aros Valenciana among others, and so on. Often, the town mayor has prepared a special Easter program at the plaza for residents and visitors in this Philippine fiesta. Awarding ceremonies usually follow recognizing citizens’ efforts in the community and in preparing for this religious feast.
The Feast of the Resurrection, or easter, is a Philippine fiesta well celebrated with dole outs of food, prizes, and awards. It is one of the religious feasts vacationers and tourists wait for in summer time. Easter is a celebration of recovery and abundance.