Filipino actors return to stage to dramatize Christ’s suffering on Good Friday

Jojo Riñoza
Filipino actors return to stage to dramatize Christ’s suffering on Good Friday Teatro Mandaleño, a troupe of amateur actors in Metro Manila, reenact Jesus Christ’s sufferings on Good Friday during a performance, April 15, 2022.
Jojo Riñoza/BenarNews

Updated at 10:07 p.m. ET on 2022-04-15

After two years of their theater lights being darkened by the COVID-19 pandemic, amateur actors returned to the stage in Metro Manila on Good Friday to perform “Senakulo,” a traditional Filipino dramatization of Christ’s suffering and death on the cross.

In Mandaluyong, a city in Metro Manila, the Senakulo tradition dates to the 1960s and is the longest-running version in the Philippine capital region. Locals and actors who have had no formal training consider their performances as vows of their religious faith. 

“At last, after two years we were given a chance again to play on stage and we are very happy. We’re hoping this will continue so that our vows will not be cut again,” said April Grace Mersa, president of Teatro Mandaleño.

Mersa’s family members have played roles in the performance over the years.

Actors prepare to stage the traditional Philippine dramatization “Senakulo” on Good Friday, April 15, 2022. [Jojo Riñoza/BenarNews]

Ferdinand Simeon, 59, is one of the oldest in the troupe of 70 actors and has played the lead role of Jesus Christ for three decades.

“I feel excited now that we can act on stage again, this is my life’s devotion,” he told BenarNews.

CORRECTION: The name of the president of the theatrical troupe was misspelled in an earlier version.


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