The Moriones have conquered Calapan City, too.
The city came alive during the Holy Week as it hosted the inaugural Moriones de Calapan 2023.
The festival, organized by the Calapan City Tourism, Culture, and Arts, was a first of its kind in the city, providing a vibrant and festive atmosphere in an otherwise somber observance of the passion of Jesus Christ.
Led by City Mayor Malou Flores-Morillo, participants donned colorful morion costumes and paraded through the streets of Calapan from Holy Monday to Easter Sunday, showcasing the role of the Moriones in Jesus’ journey.
On April 9th, the final showdown was held at the Calapan City Public Market, where the winners of Moriones de Calapan 2023 were announced.
John Lemuel Atienza won the top prize, followed by Chris Jay Ulayao and Billy Jo Pautanes. Meanwhile, Rodel Bejer and Tirso Gabayno took the fourth and fifth place, respectively.
The festival features the Moriones, people who dress up in Roman soldier costumes, as they portray the story of Longinus, the Roman centurion who pierced Jesus’ side with a spear during the crucifixion.
The Moriones tradition is said to have originated in Marinduque in the 1800s and has since become a beloved cultural event that draws tourists from all over the country. During the festival, participants don morion masks, named after the 16th and 17th century Morion helmet, and parade through the streets of Marinduque.
They reenact scenes from the Passion of Christ, including the capture, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus.