By Freddie Velez
CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — In compliance with the guidelines against the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), millions of Catholic devotees in the country observed the Palm Sunday by celebrating holy mass in front of their television and radios sets, and personal computers, waving palm fronds that were blessed by a priest over the airwaves or online.
Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday one of the most significant celebrations of the faith wherein thousands of Catholic devotees flocked to different Catholic Churches in the country.
During the observance of Palm Sunday, thousands of devotees lay down rugs at the doorway of the historic Barassoain Church here, as well as in the other churches in Bulacan, where children dressed as angels showered petals ushering the arrival of the image of Jesus Christ riding a donkey in a reenactment of His entry to the Holy land of Jerusalem.
In the past years, the provincial government of Bulacan prepared for the onset of Holy Week and deployed platoons of the Bulacan Philippine National Police (PNP)-Public Safety Company and emergency rescue units from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office in different Lenten sites where huge crowds are expected to flock.
Thousand of devotees came in droves to witness different age-old Lenten traditions like the man-made Golgotha in Bgy. Kapitangan, Paombong where faith healers were crucified in reenactment of the passion of Lord Jesus Christ, as well as in the Grotto Shrine in San Jose del Monte City; the Divine Mercy Shrine in Marilao, the station of the cross at the Banal na Bundok in San Miguel and other areas.
The Bulacan government preparations were to ensure that the people will be safe in their pilgrimage as the province has many Lenten traditions where people can reflect and pray.
But on Sunday, April 5, Governor Daniel R. Fernando said he and Vice Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado were asking their constituents to just stay home.
“Kaya po kami ni Vice Governor Alvarado ay muling nananawagan at nakikiusap sa lahat ng Bulakenyo na manatili na lamang po tayo sa ating mga tahanan upang di na kumalat pa ang coronavirus at tayo ay makababalik na sa normal na pamumuhay. Ang pananatili po natin sa bahay ay patunay ng ating wagas na pagmamahal sa ating pamilya at sa bawa’t mamamayan,” Fernando said.