SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and business locators and community organizations here have pooled resources to put up a week-long program for visitors coming over for the Holy Week this year.
“Just as we have traditionally done for the past several years, we have lined up week-long activities in observance of the Holy Week,” said Raul Marcelo, SBMA deputy administrator for tourism. “But this year, we have doubled our efforts to pack in more events because we anticipate more visitors starting April 1.”
Marcelo said that aside from traditional Lenten activities, the SBMA and its community partners have also included new and contemporary activities in the Holy Week program. Marcelo also emphasized the major participation of the Greater SubicBay Tourism Bureau (GSBTB), which will be conducting a trade fair for different concessionaires of Central Luzon products.
This will run from April 4 to 8 (Holy Wednesday to Easter Sunday). GSBTB will also stage an acoustic night on April 4 and 5, and “Hataw Sayaw” dance competition on Black Saturday, April 7.
Holy Week activities in Subic will kick off with the Blessing of the Palms on April 1, and will be followed by the traditional “Pabasa” at the Subic Chapel. The “Pabasa” will run until April 7. On Holy Wednesday, a grand procession will be staged around theCentral Business District of the free port, while the re-enactment of the “Last Supper” and mass will be on April 5. On April 6, tourists and devotees may participate in the Lenten ritesof the Walk to Calvary, the Stations of the Cross, and Veneration at the Cross. There will also be the Good Friday grand procession and a “healing concert” by the Bethesda Springs of Hope Healing Ministry.
Meanwhile, Black Saturday will feature a “Healing through the Way ofthe Cross Meditation,” as well as the Paschal Mystery, and Black Saturday concert at Subic’s Boardwalk Park. The Holy Week observance will end with the traditional “Salubong” andEaster Mass, which will be followed by an egg-hunting activity for children and the release of Easter banners and balloons.
Marcelo said that tourism information kiosks manned by the SBMA Tourist Department staff will be put up along major routes for the convenience of tourists seeking tourism-related information. Emergency response team, traffic and law enforcers will also be onstandby along Subic Bay Freeport roads throughout the Holy Week.