When closeness is a gift

Every year without fail [ even during the Lahar years ] during Holy Wednesday “Miercoles Santo,” the old Rodriguez Family of Bacolor, Pampanga gathers the various members of their clan from near and far in an informal and affectionate reunion.  There is a nice Capampangan lunch prepared, and “merienda” as well.  In the afternoon, the ladies and their daughters occupy themselves with leisurely stringing the “sampaguita” flowers to be used on the Rodriguez family’s image and “carroza” of the “Misericordia” [ a miraculous, 19th century image of the Crucified Christ ].  At 5:00 p.m., the able-bodied family members accompany the image of the “Misericordia” on its 1920s silverplated “carroza” to the Bacolor Church, where it is the main feature of the “Miercoles Santo” procession.  After the procession at 7:00 p.m., the family members return with the “Misericordia” to the Old House and they enjoy a delicious Capampangan dinner, accompanied by more affectionate banter.  The older family members start leaving at 9:00 p.m. and by 10:00 p.m., the Rodriguez family calls it a day.

I find it remarkable that such closeness and affection exists in such a large clan.  Absolutely wonderful!!!



  1. August 31, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    When we were in high school, during Holy Week, Mary Ann Guanzon Rodriguez and I were assigned by Lola Beatriz to make the homemade mayonnaise for sandwiches at “Bale Sim.” Other tasks were assigned to various relatives. Since it was a family tradition, no one refused the tasks and we were just too happy to do our share for “Apung Misericordia.”


  2. cecilia angeles rodriguez said,

    June 25, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    to toto gonzalez

    I am interested in family history. thanks for sharing. I am the 3rd child of
    mayor Ricardo Rodriguez and Zenaida Dizon Angeles of San Vicente, Bacolor.

  3. April 22, 2007 at 5:37 am


    I’m glad to know that you still maintain the “Semana Santa” traditions of your family in Talisay, Negros Occidental. An antique processional image and “carroza” is really a distinct mark of the “good families”…

    If I remember right about Talisay, the “Dolorosa” is owned by the Lizares-Alunan and emerges from the “Tana Dicang” mansion while the “Santo Entierro” is owned by the Claparols-Lacson-Araneta and emerges from the Aniceto Lacson mansion…

    I’m sure you know that in 19th century Filipinas, the “cura parroco” parish priest assigned the two most important images, the “Santo Entierro” and the “Dolorosa,” to the two most prominent families in town. The “Santa Maria Magdalena” was also assigned to one of the richer families because it entailed an elaborate dress, expensive accessories, and jewelry.

    There are some interesting processions in Pampanga and Bulacan, probably as elegant as those you have in Bacolod and the outlying towns of Negros Occidental.

    For pictures of beautiful images and “carrozas” of Pampanga and Bulacan, go to Flickr.com, to the “Semana Santa Filipinas” group, and check the photostreams of “pampanga” [ Arwin Lingat ], “Pio V” [ Jerome de Jesus ], “C-D-B” [ Tom Joven ], and “toto gonzalez” [ simply double-click their names under their pixes in the group photo pool 🙂 ].


    Toto Gonzalez

  4. April 22, 2007 at 5:01 am


    What was Des’ reaction??? *lolsz!*

    Toto Gonzalez

  5. Adrian Lizares said,

    April 16, 2007 at 12:37 am

    Dear Toto,

    I suppose a lot of families (both old and new now) gather during the Holy Week under the spell of their family images, ours being the Maria Magdalena. I had a discourse with a friend regarding upholding Holy Week traditions and it seemed to her that it was ironic that a person like me who did not attend mass, was all too eager to attend to this ritual. Of course, for me it represented my contribution to being part of the community, and the family too! I may not believe in everything about the church, but I do believe that taking part of it upholds the traditions that make us Pinoy, practising Catholics or not.

    It is a beautiful time of the year and being part of the Holy Week processions give me a sense of fulfillment. We are happy to pack away the image of the Magdalena and all her paraphernalia, if only to see her again the year after just as happy to unpack her stuff and prepare her carroza for its annual trip around town.

    I have yet to see a procession in Luzon, and I hear the ones in Pampanga and Bulacan are stunning! Photos photos photos Toto!



  6. April 15, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    I asked Tita Des when I saw the carroza parked during the Good Friday procession. Hehe! You should have seen her reaction. Hehe!

  7. April 14, 2007 at 12:47 pm


    Yes it is. Well, you can always ask our cousins Rolly Rodriguez and Marides Rodriguez-Torres…

    Toto Gonzalez

  8. April 14, 2007 at 1:20 am

    The Misericordia is now housed in San Fernando. I wonder if we can use the image for Good Friday! 🙂

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