It was another successful year for the cast and production team of the annual Live Via Crucis in Cavite City. Marking its 45th year, the 2019 Live Via Crucis brought in some new faces on this traditional passion play. For those who are not yet aware, the parish of San Roque (recently declared as the Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Porta Vaga) is annually organizing a cultural and spiritual Lenten tradition known as the “Live Via Crucis”. Generally, it is passion play or a “senakulo” that retells the passion of Jesus Christ from his trial, suffering, death up to his Resurrection.
This annual passion play has been performed and celebrated since 1974 and has become a tradition to the people of Cavite City. The participants on this play are not professional actors but residents of Cavite City who went through series of training and rehearsals to portray their respective roles effectively. Take note that this is not a performance but a way to show their vow and devotion.
Written by Antonio Galura under the direction of Mr Larry O Sta Elena, Charlemagne Tyrone Gopez, Leo Ponseca and Asst Director Aldous Guiao and under the supervision of their Chairman Edwin Monton and Napoleon Bautista (Vice Chairman), the 45th Live Via Crucis in Cavite City was held successfully. The audience were taken to 14 different “Way of the Cross” stations from the Last Supper to the Resurrection. Each station that lasted for 20-30 minutes long was held in different venues from San Roque Parish to PN Plaza and back to the church (where the 9th to 14th stations were performed).
This year, we were introduced to a new Jesus played by Arjay Alejo while others either reprise their old roles or played a new one. The Live Via Crucis was traditionally done every Holy Tuesday. The event commenced with a Special mass presided by Rev Fr Geoffrey Zacarias. The passion play started at 4PM at the San Roque Parish Church. The play was composed of more than 300 actors and technical team who were in charged of the sound and light system.
First Station :The Last Supper marks the first station of the Cross, the final meal that Jesus shared with his Apostles before his crucifixion
The Washing of the Feet
“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” John 13:14
Judas identified by Jesus as the Traitor. John 13: 26-27 ” Jesus states: “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.”
Annas bribed Judas Iscariot
The Second Station : The Agony of Jesus in Gethsemane. Jesus was accompanied by the Apostles Peter, John and James, whom he asked to stay awake and pray. He moved “a stone’s throw away” from them, where He felt overwhelming sadness and anguish
Jesus was then confronted by the devil to tempt him while praying.
He was also confronted by an Angel
Betrayal of Judas
Third Station: Jesus Before the Sanhedrin
Denial of Peter
Jesus was brought to Pontius Pilate by the Sanhedrin
Claudia persuade her husband not to condemn Jesus to death
Pilate handed Jesus over to Herod Antipas but Jesus was just mocked by him and he sent Jesus back to Pilate for the trial.
Matthew 27:24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
The crowd choose Barabbas over Jesus
The Fourth Station: Jesus was crowned with thorns
The crowning of thorns
Judas turning over the 30 silver coins to the priests and persuade them not to condemn Jesus to death
The fifth Station : Jesus Receives His Cross
Jesus carrying the cross
Sixth Station : Jesus Falls under the weight of the cross
Seventh Station: Simon of Cyrene carries the cross of Jesus
Eight Station: Jesus meets the pious Women of Jerusalem
Judas hangs himself
Jesus continue to carry His cross
Jesus before his Crucifixion
Ninth Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross
Tenth Station: Jesus promises Heaven to the Repentant Thief
Eleventh Station : Mary and John at the foot of the cross
Twelfth Station : Jesus Dies on the cross
Thirteenth Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb. This scene depicts the La Pieta where the Virgin Mary cradles the dead body of Jesus.
The sorrowful Mary carrying the crown of thorns
The Last Station : Jesus rises from the death
It was indeed a spiritually enlightening performance from the cast. Be mindful that the traditional Live Via Crucis are not performed to entertain the audience but to remind people the suffering and passion of Jesus Christ. It was done to remind us all that Jesus sacrificed His self to save us from our sins.
The annual Live Via Crucis is just a proof of the undying and overwhelming devotion of the Caviteños. The artists and everyone behind this massive production are not paid. They are doing this as their vows and to show their devotion.