Earlier today, me and my cousins, Beche and Mama Bear, went to Capitol Park and Lagoon for some exercise. I needed to walk my injured foot so it would heal fast, as for them, they needed to sweat out some calories. It was national holiday, so there were lots of people in the park. Most of them we’re sweating out, some just having fun with their kids on the playground, and most were waiting for the annual presentation of the “Way of the Cross” prepared by the San Sebastian Cathedral. “Way of the Cross”, or locally known as “Taltal”, has always been a highlight among other Holy Week presentations.
The weather was beautiful, really meant for some ‘on the road’ theatre the Cathedral staff have prepared. It was actually my first time to watch ‘Taltal’. Although the presentation started late, (supposed to start 7 AM), the experience wasnt bad at all. Watching the local version of The Passion of the Christ right before my eyes is refreshing, and made me reminisce my Catholic school days.
Welcome to Provincial Capitol of Negros Occidental. 🙂 This is just across the lagoon and park. And I guess because of its Romanesque neoclassical architectural design, they chose this venue to represent the temple.
The staff actually used dubbing technique so every lines would be audible. The play was actually a combination of narrative and dialogue. And on this scene they are portraying their daily life at the temple. Yes, they are the vendors at the temple.
On this scene, Christ visited the Temple in Jerusalem. It was Herod’s Temple, and the courtyard is known to be filled with money changers and vendors.
“And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.”
This is the only account of Jesus using physical force in any of the Gospels.
On this act, the actors are portraying Caiaphas and the other high priests being upset about Jesus acts. They are planning on how to condemn.
That guy in red portrayed the role of Judas. I believe that among other actors, he was the most powerful and simply superb. Later on you’ll see why. Anyway, this part is when Judas sold Jesus for 30 silver.
“Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. “
On this scene, Caiaphas and the other priests were arguing about Jesus’ trial. Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a member of Sanhedrin, showed favor to Jesus. On this picture, he was the 2nd guy on the right, the one with gold head cloth.
On this scene, Caiaphas and the other chief priests were interrogating Jesus. They are giving false testimony to frame him to his death, but they havent found any. Jesus was quiet throughout the trial until Caiaphas demands that he speaks up. And he responded,
“Jesus said to him, ‘It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.’”
And because of that, Caiaphas and the other men charged him of blasphemy and ordered him to be beaten.
The guy in gray is portraying St. Peter. On this act, he is repenting for denying Christ three times.
It was on this scene that the High Priests and Caiaphas presented Jesus to the crowd after he was captured. People wanted him to be imprisoned, giving false testimony against him.
(click on the image to enlarge)
Even though he was warned by his wife not to do anything with Jesus’ trial, it was in the Gospel of Mark, Luke, and Matthew, that Pontius Pilate was responsible for the death of Jesus. Pilate washes his hands to show that he was not responsible for the execution. Pilate agrees that Jesus has nothing to do with conspiracies against the Roman empire. But the people wanted him to be executed.
The guy in pink was Herod Antipas. Jesus was sent before him when Pontius Pilate learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction. At first, Antipas was happy to see Jesus since he have heard a lot about Jesus’ miracles. But Jesus remained quiet throughout Antipas’ questioning. So Antipas mocked him and sent him back to Pilate.
“And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.“
(click on the image to enlarge)
On this act, the actors portraying the Roman soldiers really hit the actor portraying Jesus Christ. I’m not quite sure if the strip of leather they used have foam inside, but still, I’m sure it hurts every time they hit him with that thing.
“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.”
Barabbas was known as a notorious prisoner. He was a bandit. His penalty was death by crucifixion but there was a custom in Jerusalem that allowed Pontius Pilate to release a prisoner by crowd decision. The people were offered a choice whether to release Barabbas or Jesus Christ from Rome’s custody. The crowd chose Barabbas to be released and Jesus to be crucified.
“And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
Everybody knows that it was Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus. And on this act, Judas was going crazy because his conscience. The sin of betraying Jesus produced an unbearable guilt for Judas.His conscience was killing him, tormenting him every single minute of his life. In a desperatte but faithless attempt to gain freedom from his conscience, Judas tried to return the 30 silvers he got. But for the Jewish leaders, Judas had no purpose for them now that Jesus is in their custody. Judas failed and threw thirty pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary. He went out and hanged himself.
This actor’s facial expressions, and intense delivery of lines captured my fancy. Out of all other actors he was the only onw worth remembering (except for the one who portrayed Chris of course.)
As you can remember, I keep mentioning how his acting was superb. Now this is one of the reason why. He doesnt mind being hanged. So whoever you are, bravo! bravo! bravo! 🙂
I actually tried looking for his name (Nope, not the actor portraying the robber, but the real robber) on the internet. Unfortunately, I wasnt able to find it. I guess, there were so little information about the two robbers. All I know is, one of them is mocking Christ, while the other repented, and said “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”.
Taltal was a moving theatre. So from Capitol Lagoon, the crowd processioned from Lacson Street, passed by Araneta Street (in front of Plaza Mart City Mall), to reach Bacolod City Public Plaza. The sun is up, and the heat is on. I couldnt imagine myself carrying that heavy cross on my shoulders. Much more I couldnt imagine how Christ endured everything – real crown of thorns, real whips, rocky roads, long journeys, and heavy cross. “Taltal” reminded me how loved and blessed I am. How every sin I made was selflessly paid by Christ.
To the actors and actresses, the people behind this presentation, and the Bacolod San Sebastian Cathedral staff, priests, and clergies: congratulations for a successful show and for a job well done!
God bless all of us!
Special thanks to:
BibleGateway for the Bible passages.
Wikipedia for providing me information that I needed to double check.
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