The Moriones is an annual festival held on Holy Week on the island of Marinduque, Philippines. The “Moriones” are men and women in costumes and masks replicating the garb of biblical Roman soldiers as interpreted by local folks.
One of the most colorful festivals celebrated in the island of Marinduque is the Moriones Festival. Morion means “mask” or “visor,” a part of the medieval woman armor which covers the face. Moriones, on the other hand, refers to the masked and costumed penitents who march around the town for seven days searching for Longinus. This week-long celebration starts on Holy Monday and culminates on Easter Sunday when the story of Longinus is reenacted in pantomime. This is a folk-religious festival that re-enacts the story of Longinus, a Roman centurion who was blind in one eye.
Legend has it that Longinus pierced the side of the crucified Christ. The blood that spurted forth touched his blind eye and fully restored his sight. This miracle converted Longinus to Christianity and earned the ire of his fellow centurions. The re-enactment reaches its climax when Longinus is caught and beheaded.
The festival is characterized by colorful Roman costumes, painted masks and helmets, and brightly-colored tunics. The towns of Boac, Gasan, Santa Cruz, Buenavista and Mogpog in the island of Marinduque become one gigantic stage.
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