Cenaculo at Barangay Pio del Pilar in Makati

Captain M Reyes Street corner Valderama Street, Barangay Pio Del Pilar , Makati City

Makati is known to be a progressive city and is also known for its Lenten tradition . I have seen a Cenaculo play / Senakulo play in different parts of Metro Manila and according to long time residents of the place . The Cenaculo is an age -old tradition spanning about 90 years.

band members

The play had been moving within Barangay Pio Del Pilar  along Captain M Reyes street  corner Valderama street , Evangelista and nearby places alternating them almost every Holy Week.

The entire street is usually closed to vehicular traffic and even tricycle .  Usually pedicabs and strictly pedestrian only on the narrow streets. There is a makeshift stage which remind people that there is something going on .  On the eve of Palm Sunday, the passion play begins starting with the Creation story. For the entire week until midnight of Easter Sunday, the Senakulo is played out nightly to local audiences accompanied by a brass band with key scenes of Christ’s life, passion and resurrection.

Jesus Christ together with his apostle walking toward the center of the stage

The local cenaculo might have been influenced by neighboring Malibay, Pasay which started in the mid -19th century and gradually spread by some residents who lived in Makati area .   They are spelled using the old Spanish way .

Jesus Christ with halo together with his apostle

The performers are local community volunteers,  Cast members range from a few veterans who have been doing specific roles for quite a number of years while majority are newbies . This year’s cenaculo had some sort of local twist,  the office of the mayor had sponsored the makeshift stage, hiring of brass band ,  food and catering services for the actors of the play .  There is also several signage which shows the mayor had sponsored the play. I must also commend the props director, the audio and lighting effect . However there are some instances that audio is not clear .

Here is a short video by my blogger friend Mr. Philip Reyes

The play is unlike the typical senakulo that i have seen in some parts of Metro Manila or provinces . Senakulo usually starts on Palm Sunday and ends by Maundy Thursday or Good Friday . Their cenaculo usually start on Palm Sunday and ends until Easter Sunday .  The phasing of the cenaculo is slow and unlike in other parts of the city of provinces .  According to Mr. Philip Reyes a long time resident of Makati , It used to last until around 11:00pm to 12midnight  several years ago and most of the people from other barangays and visitors  ( dayo ) are the ones watching  the play .

last supper

A local barangay folk told me that this year’s cenaculo would end earlier and faster compared to the previous years.  The play started around 8:35pm about 35minutes after the supposed 8:00pm call time, We spend a little over 1 hour before deciding to leave the place. Business is brisk especially among the ambulant food and drink vendors

The props use at the cenaculo were made from local materials and cheap textiles that the actors dress-up portraying the era of Jesus Christ  . There is some touch of modernity among some of the actors ( like short hair style by Judas Iscariot ) maybe their local interpretation .  I also like the stage where they change the setting . The lines are spoken in Filipino / Tagalog and are sung by the actors in a slow manner .

There were some foreign nationals which took videos and photos of the play .  I would like to return back next year and excited on what will be the next play.

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