Centurion Festival is a cultural and religious festival and a Holy Week observance in the town of General Luna in Quezon, Philippines. It is believed to be the inspiration for Moriones Festival held annually at the same time in the province of Marinduque.
A similar event is observed in Panamalayan, Oriental Mindoro.
History of Centurion Festival
According to tradition, the Centurion Festival in Quezon is older than Moriones Festival. Conducted for over a century, its name comes from centurion which was a military position in the Roman army leading a unit called centuria which is composed of a hundred soldiers. The event commemorates the Passion of the Christ and retells the agony, crucifixion, and death of Jesus.
Centurion Festival is characterized with elaborate costumes and reenactment of passion and death of Jesus Christ.
Additionally, it is also about the story of Roman soldier named Longinus, the man who wounded Christ on the cross by the use of a spear. Blood flowed into his weapon and fell on his blind eye, curing him of blindness. He was later converted to Christianity and when he began preaching, he was order to be killed and then beheaded. He is considered a martyr in Roman Catholic faith.
The event was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Centurion Festival Activities
Centurion Festival activities are grounded on religious faith. An example is the Buhay na Kubol, the live dramatization of the Passion of the Christ. Men who want to fulfill a panata (vow, promise, or commitment) would play the roles of the suffering Christ, two thieves, and Roman soldiers.
The soldiers wear colorful attire and masks similar to the morions in Moriones festival. Other devotees would participate by empathizing the agony of Jesus by participating in a parade and commit to self-flagellation.
Another added attraction is the costumes worn by kids. Because an attire of a Roman soldier can be costly, they wear colorful costumes and mask. The costume is made of cut papers and gathered together akin to a pompom and worn as headdress or as part of the garment.
How to reach General Luna, Quezon
One may take a bus from Manila to Lucban, the capital of the province of Quezon, at Buendia or Kamias terminals. From there, take another bus bound for the town of General Luna.
- Centurion Festival. Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines. Retrieved November 25, 2022
- Delfin T. Mallari Jr. Quezon town mayor releases April salary of LGU workers amid COVID-19 crisis. Philippine Daily Inquirer. March 15, 2020. Retrieved November 25, 2022
- Bernard Supetran. 10 Holy Week Traditions All Over the Philippines. SPOT.PH. April 15, 2019. Retrieved November 25, 2022
- Pewee Bacuño. Centurion Festival, isang paggunita at pasasalamat. GMA News. Marso 28, 2018. Retrieved November 25, 2022