Moriones Festival is a traditional activity held every Holy Week in the island province of Marinduque in the Philippines. But unlike other festivals in the Philippines, Moriones is, according to religious sectors, not a festive occasion. 

In this blog, you will not only learn about the Moriones Festival place of origin and the date of celebration of Moriones Festival but also you will know the true date of celebration of Moriones Festival meaning so that you can understand why it is important.

*Cover photo source: Wikimedia Commons

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Moriones Festival Place of Origin

Moriones is a festival celebrated in the island of Marinduque. The place of origin of Moriones Festival is in Mogpog. It first appeared in 1807 as initiated by the Parish Priest of the town.

Moriones Festival Date

A Morion at Moriones Festival Marinduque

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

There is no exact Moriones Festival date of celebration as it depends on the month when the Holy Week is observed. Usually, Holy Week is observed either in the month of March or April. If that’s the case then, Moriones Festival month is celebrated in the said season.

Moriones Meaning

Moriones Festival description will definitely interest you. Moriones is derived from the word “Morion” which means mask or visor hence, the mask in the Moriones Festival costume. It is a part of the medieval Roman armor which covers the face. Moriones, on the other hand, refers to the  masked and costumed men and women penitents who march around the town for seven days re-enacting the search for Longinus.

History of Moriones Festival

People watching the Moriones Festival

Photo credits to Bar Fabella via Flickr

The origin of Moriones Festival dates back to 1807 when the parish priest of Mogpog town, Father Dionisio Santiago, organized it for the first time. The Moriones Festival tagalog is held every Holy Week, from Holy Monday to Easter Sunday. 

The penitents wear Moriones Festival costume composed of masks and costumes similar to those worn by the Roman soldiers as a way of atonement for their sins committed or for other similar reasons. The penitents roam around the town for the day throughout the week. 

The Moriones Festival is a re-enactment of the biblical story of a Roman soldier whose one eye was blind named Longinus.

Before the body of Jesus was taken down from the cross, Longinus thrusted a spear on His side and a drop of blood spurted in the blind eye of Longinus, miraculously curing him of his blindness.

Longinus headed a group of soldiers detailed to guard the Holy Sepulcher where the body of Christ was buried. He witnessed the Resurrection of Christ on the third day and rushed to spread the news to the scribes and Pharisees and shouted around the town what he witnessed. Because of the information about Christ that he was spreading, the Chief Priest ordered a manhunt to kill him. Longinus voluntarily surrendered but before he was beheaded, he told his captors that the blood of Jesus cured his blind eye and bravely swore of Jesus’ Resurrection.

What to expect at Moriones Festival 2022

Moriones Festival costumes

Left photo from Wikimedia Commons | Right photo by NCCA Official via Flickr

As of writing, there are no updates yet as to when it will be held but we’ll keep this blog updated once there are information released already.

Every time this festival is held, Morions roam the streets in seven days, from Holy Monday to Easter Sunday. Not only this is held in the town of Mogpog but it is also done in the towns of Boac, Gasan, Santa Cruz, and Buenavista in Marinduque. 

Aside from the parade, there’s also a Moriones Festival dance and some short acts re-enacting what happened during the time of Longinus. Various towns also hold pabasa or the recitation of Christ’s passion in verse.

Then at 3pm on Good Friday, the Santo Sepulcro is observed, where old women exchange verses based on the Bible as they stand in the wake of Christ. One of the highlights of this festival is the Via Crucis, showing the suffering of Christ on his way to the Calvary. Here you’d see men inflict suffering upon themselves by whipping their backs, carrying a wooden cross and sometimes even being crucified. To them, these acts are their form of atonement for their sins. 

The highlight of this solemn tradition is the “pugutan,” a re-enactment of the beheading of Longinus on Easter Sunday.

Over the years, Moriones Festival has gained attention from across the world, even international media are covering this. The festival draws about tens of thousand tourists to the island, according to Marinduque tourism officer Dindo Asuncion.

Tips when attending Moriones Festival 2022

  • Wear comfortable clothes.
  • Bring a hat or umbrella.
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Be mindful of the activities you’ll do during the festival as this is a solemn and religious event. 
  • Respect the beliefs and traditions of those participating in the festival. 

How to get to Marinduque

By bus
From Manila or Cubao, ride a bus going to Lucena Grand Terminal, Lucena. Take a jeep or tricycle to Dalahican Port and ride a roll-on/roll-off ferry (RoRo) bound for Balanacan Port in the town of Mogpog. Upon arrival, you can take a jeep going to the town of your destination.

By plane
From Manila, there are flights going directly to Marinduque. Travel time is around 45 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moriones Festival

Q: Why do we celebrate the Moriones Festival?
A: Moriones Festival is a folk-religious event that re-enacts the story of Saint Longinus, a Roman centurion who was blind in one eye. It is important to celebrate Moriones Festival tagalog because Longinus is among those who attested Christ’s miracle.

Q: Where and when did the Moriones Festival originate?
A: The Moriones Festival place of origin is in Mogpog in Marinduque. It first appeared in 1807 as initiated by the Parish Priest of the town. There is no exact Moriones Festival date of celebration because it is held at the same time that Holy Week is observed.

Q: What is the date of Moriones Festival?
A: There is no exact Moriones Festival date of celebration because it is held at the same time that Holy Week is observed.

Q: Where is Moriones Festival celebrated?
A: Moriones is a festival celebrated in the island of Marinduqe.

Q: Ano ang Moriones Festival?
A: Ang Moriones ay isang okasyon na ginaganap sa Marinduque tuwing Mahal na Araw. Ginagawa ito upang ipalabas ang pangyayari sa buhay ni Longinus na isang sundalong Roman na sumaksak sa tagliran ni Hesus. Nang matalsikan ng dugo ni Hesus ang isa niyang mata na hindi nakakakita, bigla raw nagkamilagro at muli siyang nakakita. Ito ang sagot sa tanong mo kung ano ang Moriones.

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