Aside from organizing or participating on a retreat and recollection activity this Holy Week, you should also consider attending two of the most influential Cebuano traditions held during the holiest week in April.
SUGAT IN MINGLANILLA
Minglanilla is synonymous to “Sugat Kabanhawan”. This festival is eagerly prepared for by people from Minglanilla and highly anticipated by both local and foreign spectators every year, particularly on the dawn of Easter Sunday. Sugat Kabanhawan or more commonly called as Sugat is a Holy Week tradition that started way back in 1889. It's about the rising of Jesus Christ, and is accompanied by a role play presentation of Mama Mary welcoming her son after rising from death as well as Judas committing suicide for feeling guilty of trading Jesus's life for an amount of money and turning him over to the authorities for crucifixion.
With the help of local government officials, Sugat in Minglanilla has been beautifully maintained over the years and even includes a series of fun day-long events, which is collectively called as the “Kabanhawan Festival”. The festival features a festival queen and an array of colorful street dancers. Because of these and the grand Sugat events held for the past years, Minglanilla has been considered as the Sugat Capital of the South.
BUHING KALBARYO BY THE CEBU GOVERNMENT
This Holy Week festival is a project of the Cebu government and aims to show some of the key events in Jesus Christ's life, such as his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, his arrest, and his resurrection. These are re-enacted by local actors, and this year, the production casts out-of-school-youth and government officials to portray huge characters in Jesus's time, like Pontius Pilate, the judge who authorized the crucifixion of Christ.
This year is Buhing Kalbaryo's 17th year, and the Cebu City Council allocated Php500+ just to make 2014's event grand and specular. If the reenactment of Jesus's crucifixion was always held during Good Friday only, the production this year will be staged three times in Fort San Pedro on April 9-13 (7-9 PM), in the Palm Sunday Walk on April 13 (from V.Rama Avenue to Guadalupe Church, 6 AM), and in the Buhing Kalbaryo finale on Good Friday, April 18 (10:30 AM), which will happen in the grounds of San Nicolas Parish. This activity is organized by the Buhing-Pasko Association, Inc. and is directed by Werner Lorenzo, Clefren Dumaguit, Mark Rosales, Joel Gallardo, Neal Echavez, and Marciani Fuentes.
Complete your Holy Week experience in Cebu by witnessing the said events and reflecting on the life of the one and only Savior and Lord of the Catholic Church.