By Daniel Infante Tuaño
Filipino Catholics in Barcelona maybe thousand miles away from home but distance did not deter them from observing the Good Friday tradition of Via Crucis or Stations of the Cross.
The procession organized by the Filipino Personal Parish in Barcelona Parroquia de Inmaculada Concepción y San Lorenzo Ruiz may not be as grandiose as the pasos processions in Spain or as macabre as the penitensya in the Philippines but it certainly drew approximately a thousand participants.
“Hindi rin tayo nalalayo sa pagdiriwang sa ating bansa sapagkat kung ano ang ginagawa natin sa Pilipinas dinadala natin dito bilang sambayanang Pilipino. At ito ay bilang pag-alala sa kadakilaang ginawa ni Hesus sa Kanyang pagpasan ng krus,” Fr. Tony Laureta said.
As early as 9 a.m., families, friends and Filipino associations flocked in front of El Molino theater to start a simple and relatively solemn procession.
A big wooden cross was then carried towards Montjuic, a hill in Barcelona which would represent the Calvary and where the 14 Stations were depicted.
The procession caught the attention of tourists visiting the hill famous for housing 1992 Summer Olympics monuments and a fortress where Jose Rizal was once jailed.
More people attended this year’s Via Crucis, which marks its eight year anniversary,thanks to picnic weather compared to previous years.
“Ito po ay ginagawa rin namin sa Pilipinas, sa paglalakad sa Biyernes Santo, sama-sama namin kapwa namin Pilipino dito sa Espanya,” said Barcelona resident Jovita Malubay.
Seventy-four-year-old Erlinda Ilagan Mendoza makes sure she attends the procession every year. “Ako’y nagpapasalamat sa Diyos at maraming biyaya ang natatanggap ko mula sa Kanya kaya hanggang kaya ng buhay ko ako’y sumasama sa Via Crucis,” said Mendoza who had to take a bus with her daughter Geraldine to reach the last remaining Stations.
More young people were also present like John Rendell Andal, who joined again this year and demonstrated understanding of the tradition’s religious significance.
“Naramdaman ko po yung sakit at hirap po na naranasan ni Hesukristo habang dala-dala niya yung krus.”
Carrying a cross is like the lives of migrants according to Fr. Laureta.
“Huwag tayong magsawa sa pagpapasan ng iba’t ibang uri ng krus na dalahin ng ating mga kababayan lalo’t higit ng ating mga mahal sa buhay. Samahan tayo (ng Diyos) sa pagpasan ng ating mga krus. Sana’y maging daan din tayo upang maging magaan ang krus na dalahin ng ating kapwa.”
Here’s the TV report in Filipino language aired on Balitang Europe, The Filipino Channel.