Day 17: Every seven years


My father's side of the family is a part of the Prado clan courtesy of my grandmother. They are based in Camaligan, Camarines Sur, a municipality with a population of about 25,000 people (according to 2020 data), located just outside of Naga City. One of the things about the Prado clan that my father makes sure we know about and understand is our family's collective ownership of a religious image of the dead Christ, known as "Hinulid." It is the image of Jesus Christ when he was brought down from the crucifix and laid to rest, his hands and feet still bearing bleeding wounds from being nailed to the cross. This religious image is housed in a small chapel in Camaligan and it is open to visitors. Visitors, us included, would usually wipe their hands or a handkerchief on the feet of the dead Christ, then offering a prayer. 

While my knowledge of the history of our ownership of this image is scarce, it confirms with the fact that the Prado clan was part of the landed class in Camaligan. Talk within the family attributes this land ownership to the clan's patriarch who is of Chinese descent, able to trade Chinese products like silk for parcels of land. There is much more to be studied about this relationship and history. But historically, it is the landed that has close ties with religious leaders, maybe even with Spanish colonizers. Perhaps the Hinulid was a gift among members of the landed class. 

In this photo (which I only found, undated, in files compiled by my mother), the names of my father and his two other siblings are written on a small board, under the name of our grandmother. It means it is our family's turn to prepare the Hinulid for the Good Friday procession as part of the Holy Week. The Hinulid is bathed and carried onto a generator-powered vehicle to join the procession in Camaligan. A band, the subject of the photo, is hired to play. And afterwards, our family is to host a dinner for the procession's participants, which is a dinner for about a hundred people. 

This is a tradition respected within the clan for many years. Each turn is determined by the order of my grandmother's siblings. Our turn comes every seven years. 




More from Tel
All posts