The Holy Week is almost upon us and various households and religious communities all over the land are preparing themselves for their “acts of penitence” as a means of being “absolved of their sins”

One of the oldest Lenten practices in the country is by way of the “PABASA” which literally means “a reading“, but is actually the continuous and non-stop chanting and singing of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ in the local dialects usually in front of a dressed-up altar.

This tradition begins during the days leading to Good Friday but in some cases, it is done a week earlier as in the household of my friend and classmate Jun Laiz in Gen. Santos, a practice which dates back to the 50s when his parents were still alive.

Above is the Passion Guide containing the long biblical passages of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ which is sung and chanted in the most imaginable way.

Below are pictures of the “readers” or “chanters”, inside the compound of the Laiz Family along Sampaguita Street, while singing the Tagalog dialect-worded “pasyon” or book containing the story of the death and passion of Jesus Christ.