The week-long Moriones Festival on the island of Marinduque, south of Manila, weaves together a complex mix of events including street theatre, processions, religious ceremonies, and a three-night sinakulo that dramatizes the history of salvation with a focus on the Christ story. Present throughout the week's events are the morions, caped and elaborately costumed local men enacting a vow or panata, whose identities are disguised by large headpieces and full-face carved masks meant to resemble Roman centurions. The leading morion is the Roman centurion Longinus, who according to apocryphal sources, was the lance-wielding soldier present at the cruciﬁxion and whose sight was miraculously restored by Christ's blood. The ubiquitous morions and the transformation and martyrdom of Longinus provide an active, experiential route into the story of Christ's sacriﬁce for many Catholics in Marinduque during Holy Week.
Asian Theatre Journal – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Sep 26, 2007