Lenten activities which have become part of the rich traditions of many Catholics in Cardona, Rizal will no longer be the same, at least for the meantime that the threat of COVID-19 still lingers.
Mayor Teodulo Campo has issued Executive Order (EO) No. 9 Series of 2021 that limits the activities related to the observance of Lent in the town this year.
Although the EO allows the “Pabasa” which is a longtime Catholic tradition during the Holy Week, with a group of people or a few individuals, taking turns in chanting of the “Pasyon” (an early 16th century epic poem that tells the life, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ), the religious practice restricts the activity to churches, chapels, and other similar places of worship alone.
It is also recommended that the Pabasa be a recording, but if it cannot be done, the number of participants should also be limited at a particular hour, depending on the capacity of the place of worship, with the strict observance of minimum health standards and participants wearing face masks.
Food, which is part of every Pabasa activity, should be served in a pack.
Other prayer gatherings or thanksgiving activities are also not allowed to be done inside houses or tight places except in churches.
The “Senakulo,” which is a weeklong stage play about the stories in the Bible particularly focusing on the life, passion, death, and resurrection of Christ, is prohibited.
Other traditional church activities, however, are allowed provided that participants should observe the 1.5-meter social distancing and the wearing of face mask and face shield apart from other health measures.
Procession of the religious images, with participants joining the street activity, usually during Holy Wednesday and Good Friday, and the “Stations of the Cross” are also not allowed. However, the EO may allow the procession of the images but without the usual crowd that follows each religious image.
The 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew remains along with the limitation on the sale of liquor only from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the entire town.
At the Parish of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, the Stations of the Cross is usually done inside the church every Sunday afternoon.
The municipality, along with the entire Rizal Province, is among the many places in the country where Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) is being implemented.