Marinduque, Philippines

When the Romans Invade the Philippines

Christ whipped
Moriones centurions whip Jesus Christ during Boac's Via Crucis.
Morionar time
A resident of Boac goes out into the street just dressed as a Roman centurion.
Romans on the Beach
Moriones invade a Marinduque beach
Double Moriones
Craftsman creating moriones, holds two newly produced masks.
Roman audience
Morion centurions lined up during the crucifixion of Christ, near the end of the Via Crucis de Boac.
Actor who plays Jesus Christ, performs his role during Boac's Via Crucis.
the body of Christ
Centurions carry the body of Christ through the streets of Boac, the capital of Marinduque.
Moriones Crucifixion
Centurions surround Jesus Christ, still on the cross, as depicted during the Via Crucis, on the outskirts of Boac.
Roman peditory
Moriones ask for money at a store in the center of Boac.
ice cream break
Centurion masks interrupt their participation to relieve the tropical heat of Marinduque.
gay faith
Gay spectator of Via Crucis de Boac asks two centurions to threaten him with their swords.
The creator
Craftsman holds one of the many masks he creates in wood.
Private Request
Morione asks for a contribution at a shop in Boac.
Children under guard by a gigantic morione head during a dance and mask competition in Mogpog.
Inverted Morione
Morione de Marinduque on a motorbike removes his Moriones mask to recover from the island's tropical heat.
The Jury
Jury panel of the Mogpog Morione Dance Contest, in Marinduque.
Fresh air
Morione lifts his centurion mask to air it.
under trial
Participants in a Mogpog moriones contest line up in front of the jury.
Tricycle Morione
Tricycle driver from Boac (the main town on the island of Marinduque) rests with the morione mask at his feet.
I'm ok
Morione stands out dancing the hit "i tak ta mo" during a Mogpog dance contest.
Even the Eastern Empire didn't get that far. In Holy Week, thousands of centurions seize Marinduque. There, the last days of Longinus, a legionary converted to Christianity, are re-enacted.

Caesar would despair at the performance of these subjects.

April started a few days ago. THE friend  – the Northeast monsoon and the dry season of the Philippine archipelago – it's halfway through.

The sun shines without mercy, but the heat is not enough to demotivate an unruly battalion of centurions with high-pitched voices that fight for everything and for nothing and provoke the spectators of Boac, the capital of the island that hosts the Festival dos Moriones.

Moriones on the beach, Festival moriones, Marinduque, Philippines

Moriones invade a Marinduque beach

The Historical Genesis of the Festival dos Moriones

The event was named after the adaptation of morion, the Castilian term for the helmets of Castilian soldiers that continues to define those worn by revelers. We only need to advance to the Age of Discovery to understand the connection.

In 1521, Fernão de Magalhães arrived in the Philippines in the service of Carlos V. Despite being mortally wounded on the neighboring island of Mactan, his sacrifice opened the door to the Spanish conquerors. Soon, these would colonize the archipelago while the missionaries who joined them, took charge of converting it to Christianity.

Marinduque did not escape his action.

In 1807, the island was already divided into several parishes and each priest was free to train new faithful as he pleased, as long as in accordance with the Bible.

It is said that, in Mogpog, Friar Dionísio Santiago was particularly pleased with the popular dramatizations and the character of Longinus.

Morione airing, Festival moriones, Marinduque, Philippines

Morione lifts his centurion mask to air it.

And the Biblical Basis of the Long Plot

According to the Gospel accounts,

Longinus would have been the centurion responsible for satisfying the Jews to ensure that Jesus and the others crucified died and were removed from the Calvary before sunset, to avoid desecrating the Sabbath.

According to superior instructions, the legs of those who were still alive were to be broken.

When Longinus approached Jesus, he looked dead, but to be sure, the centurion, who could only see with one eye, decided to pierce the body with his spear.

Drops of blood fell on her blind eye and healed her.

Thereafter, Longinus and two other centurions witnessed various divine manifestations, including the Resurrection.

These manifestations led them to accept, with remorse, that Jesus was indeed the son of God.

Cristo Actor, Festival moriones, Marinduque Island, Philippines

Actor who plays Jesus Christ, performs his role during Boac's Via Crucis.

His unexpected conversion provoked the wrath of both Jews and Romans. He forced Longinus to flee to Cappadocia where he began to profess Christianity.

But the slanders of the Jews urged Pilate to send soldiers to capture and decapitate him.

The persecuted ended up submitting to this fate.

When Roman Moriones Invade Marinduque Island

Over the years, in Marinduque, the story has been simplified.

The drama is treated with a combination of respect and the famous lightheartedness of the most Latin people in Asia.

Motorized Morione, festival moriones, Marinduque, Philippines

Morione de Marinduque on a motorbike removes his Moriones mask to recover from the island's tropical heat.

All week Mogpog, Boac, Gasan and Santa Cruz are plagued by restless legions.

Groups of anachronistic centurions cross them, roam the beaches and take over weddings, where they dare to kidnap the bride and groom.

They form colored military columns. They invade stores with demands for generous donations that most merchants are happy to indulge.

In-store peditory, Festival moriones, Marinduque Island, Philippines

Moriones ask for money at a store in the center of Boac.

The Craftsmen Who Shape the Masks Moriones

Some natives contribute their art.

This is the case of Regis and his nephews, who carve with dedication and mastery the most realistic morion masks on the island.

Mask maker, festival moriones, Marinduque, Philippines

Craftsman creating moriones, holds two newly produced masks.

"We live and work in United States for most of the year…” confess the boys who wear the gear of their favorite American basketball teams. “…when we reach this point, we always find a way to come here…”

Still others prefer to work and play at the same time. They do it masked.

We found drivers from jeepneys (Philippine folk buses) and tricycles, but also civil servants, waiters and even gardeners.

Roman morione at tricycle-festival moriones, Marinduque, Philippines

Tricycle driver from Boac (the main town on the island of Marinduque) rests with the morione mask at his feet.

Inside the uniforms and masks, the heat is atrocious and many see their participation in the festival as penance.

Seen things in a comparative way, they are nothing but jokes.

The Via Crucis Tropical of the Moriones Festival

When Good Friday afternoon arrives, the Way of the cross.

Devout volunteers play the roles of Jesus and the two thieves and, under a relentless sun, carry the crosses to a local golgotha.

Via Crucis de Boac, Festival de Moriones, Marinduque, Philippines

Moriones centurions whip Jesus Christ during Boac's Via Crucis.

Also during the procession the moriones do their thing.

Under the pretext of realism, they send violent lashes to the crosses and, too often, to the martyrs, who have to appeal to divine help not to fight back and remain faithful to the representation.

At the same time, the sadistic grimaces of the centurions – who display the best Marinduque masks there – and the pain they inflict impress and distress, out of solidarity, the most sensitive spectators.

No Calvary, continue, without exaggeration, the historical events. Instead of being nailed, Jesus and the two thieves are tied to crosses by Roman soldiers and revered by the crowd.

The miracle of Longinus is represented. Shortly thereafter, Jesus is brought to the ground and given to women who mourn his death.

Crucifixion Scene, Festival moriones, Marinduque Island, Philippines

Centurions surround Jesus Christ, still on the cross, as depicted during the Via Crucis, on the outskirts of Boac.

Once the ropes that delimit the set are removed, the audience rushes to photograph themselves in the company of their favorite actors and extras.

Effeminate Spectator, Festival moriones, Marinduque Island, Philippines

Gay spectator of Via Crucis de Boac asks two centurions to threaten him with their swords.

The Mask and Dance Competitions and the Persecution of Longinus

Come the weekend, the moriones return to the charge. Longinus assumes a leading role absent from the celebrations.

We find them at a school in Mogpog – the birthplace of the festival – where a competition is held that rewards the best masks and costumes, according to different categories.

Roman Morione Eye, Festival moriones, Marinduque, Philippines

Children under guard by a gigantic morione head during a dance and mask competition in Mogpog.

From the top of a stage, in Tagalog (the national dialect) the service presenter thanks a number of entities and people. Soon, he explains to the competitors the rules of the competition.

The test begins and the view from that same stage proves to be surreal.

Dance competition, Festival moriones, Marinduque, Philippines

Morione stands out dancing the hit “i tak ta mo” during a Mogpog dance contest.

On an improvised track over the school yard, hundreds of crazy moriones "twist” side by side the choreography of “I'm ok“, the soundtrack of a television show then idolized in the Philippines.

A panel of juries observes them with rapt attention, confers and elaborates mysterious assessments.

The exhibitions last an eternity and leave the participants to their knees, but the verdict is finally reached and the winners receive their prizes.

When spectators least expect it, Longinus appears out of nowhere. He is chased by a crowd of centurions who strive to delay the ever-imminent capture.

There follows a dramatic beheading that arrives that thrills and splashes the audience.

Mascara Creator, Festival moriones, Marinduque, Philippines

Craftsman holds one of the many masks he creates in wood.

And leaves the Roman's head in a puddle of pink paint.

Marinduque, Philippines

The Philippine Passion of Christ

No nation around is Catholic but many Filipinos are not intimidated. In Holy Week, they surrender to the belief inherited from the Spanish colonists. Self-flagellation becomes a bloody test of faith
Helsinki, Finland

The Pagan Passover of Seurasaari

In Helsinki, Holy Saturday is also celebrated in a Gentile way. Hundreds of families gather on an offshore island, around lit fires to chase away evil spirits, witches and trolls
Holy Sepulcher Basilica, Jerusalem, Israel

The Supreme Temple of the Old Christian Churches

It was built by Emperor Constantine, on the site of Jesus' Crucifixion and Resurrection and an ancient temple of Venus. In its genesis, a Byzantine work, the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher is, today, shared and disputed by various Christian denominations as the great unifying building of Christianity.
Jerusalem, Israel

Through the Belicious Streets of Via Dolorosa

In Jerusalem, while traveling the Via Dolorosa, the most sensitive believers realize how difficult the peace of the Lord is to achieve in the most disputed streets on the face of the earth.
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

At the end of the 11th century, Mariano Lacson, a Filipino farmer, and Maria Braga, a Portuguese woman from Macau, fell in love and got married. During the pregnancy of what would be her 2th child, Maria succumbed to a fall. Destroyed, Mariano built a mansion in his honor. In the midst of World War II, the mansion was set on fire, but the elegant ruins that endured perpetuate their tragic relationship.
Bhaktapur, Nepal

The Nepalese Masks of Life

The Newar Indigenous People of the Kathmandu Valley attach great importance to the Hindu and Buddhist religiosity that unites them with each other and with the Earth. Accordingly, he blesses their rites of passage with newar dances of men masked as deities. Even if repeated long ago from birth to reincarnation, these ancestral dances do not elude modernity and begin to see an end.
Jerusalem, Israel

Closer to God

Three thousand years of history as mystical as it is troubled come to life in Jerusalem. Worshiped by Christians, Jews and Muslims, this city radiates controversy but attracts believers from all over the world.
Bacolod, Philippines

A Festival to Laugh at Tragedy

Around 1980, the value of sugar, an important source of wealth on the Philippine island of Negros, plummeted and the ferry “Don Juan” that served it sank and took the lives of more than 176 passengers, most of them from Negrès. The local community decided to react to the depression generated by these dramas. That's how MassKara arose, a party committed to recovering the smiles of the population.
Helsinki, Finland

A Frigid-Scholarly Via Crucis

When Holy Week arrives, Helsinki shows its belief. Despite the freezing cold, little dressed actors star in a sophisticated re-enactment of Via Crucis through streets full of spectators.
Mtskheta, Georgia

The Holy City of Georgia

If Tbilisi is the contemporary capital, Mtskheta was the city that made Christianity official in the kingdom of Iberia, predecessor of Georgia, and one that spread the religion throughout the Caucasus. Those who visit see how, after almost two millennia, it is Christianity that governs life there.
Kirkjubour, streymoy, Faroe Islands

Where the Faroese Christianity Washed Ashore

A mere year into the first millennium, a Viking missionary named Sigmundur Brestisson brought the Christian faith to the Faroe Islands. Kirkjubour became the shelter and episcopal seat of the new religion.
Jaisalmer, India

There's a Feast in the Thar Desert

As soon as the short winter breaks, Jaisalmer indulges in parades, camel races, and turban and mustache competitions. Its walls, alleys and surrounding dunes take on more color than ever. During the three days of the event, natives and outsiders watch, dazzled, as the vast and inhospitable Thar finally shines through.
Camiguin, Philippines

An Island of Fire Surrended to Water

With more than twenty cones above 100 meters, the abrupt and lush, Camiguin has the highest concentration of volcanoes of any other of the 7641 islands in the Philippines or on the planet. But, in recent times, not even the fact that one of these volcanoes is active has disturbed the peace of its rural, fishing and, to the delight of outsiders, heavily bathed life.
Mactan, Cebu, Philippines

Magellan's Quagmire

Almost 19 months of pioneering and troubled navigation around the world had elapsed when the Portuguese explorer made the mistake of his life. In the Philippines, the executioner Datu Lapu Lapu preserves the honors of a hero. In Mactan, his tanned statue with a tribal superhero look overlaps the mangrove swamp of tragedy.
Boracay, Philippines

The Philippine Beach of All Dreams

It was revealed by Western backpackers and the film crew of “Thus Heroes are Born”. Hundreds of resorts and thousands of eastern vacationers followed, whiter than the chalky sand.
El Nido, Philippines

El Nido, Palawan: The Last Philippine Frontier

One of the most fascinating seascapes in the world, the vastness of the rugged islets of Bacuit hides gaudy coral reefs, small beaches and idyllic lagoons. To discover it, just one fart.
Hungduan, Philippines

Country Style Philippines

The GI's left with the end of World War II, but the music from the interior of the USA that they heard still enlivens the Cordillera de Luzon. It's by tricycle and at your own pace that we visit the Hungduan rice terraces.

The Philippine Road Lords

With the end of World War II, the Filipinos transformed thousands of abandoned American jeeps and created the national transportation system. Today, the exuberant jeepneys are for the curves.
Vigan, Philippines

Vigan: the Most Hispanic of Asias

The Spanish settlers left but their mansions are intact and the Kalesas circulate. When Oliver Stone was looking for Mexican sets for "Born on the 4th of July" he found them in this ciudad fernandina

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a High camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
Sirocco, Arabia, Helsinki
Architecture & Design
Helsinki, Finland

The Design that Came from the Cold

With much of the territory above the Arctic Circle, Finns respond to the climate with efficient solutions and an obsession with art, aesthetics and modernism inspired by neighboring Scandinavia.
Totems, Botko Village, Malekula, Vanuatu
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

Until the early XNUMXth century, man-eaters still feasted on the Vanuatu archipelago. In the village of Botko we find out why European settlers were so afraid of the island of Malekula.
Ceremonies and Festivities
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Naghol: Bungee Jumping without Modern Touches

At Pentecost, in their late teens, young people launch themselves from a tower with only lianas tied to their ankles. Bungee cords and harnesses are inappropriate fussiness from initiation to adulthood.
patpong, go go bar, bangkok, one thousand and one nights, thailand
Bangkok, Thailand

One Thousand and One Lost Nights

In 1984, Murray Head sang the nighttime magic and bipolarity of the Thai capital in "One night in bangkok". Several years, coups d'etat, and demonstrations later, Bangkok remains sleepless.
Fogón de Lola, great food, Costa Rica, Guápiles
Fogón de Lola Costa Rica

The Flavor of Costa Rica of El Fogón de Lola

As the name suggests, the Fogón de Lola de Guapiles serves dishes prepared on the stove and in the oven, according to Costa Rican family tradition. In particular, Tia Lola's.
Djerbahood, Erriadh, Djerba, Mirror
Erriadh, Djerba, Tunisia

A Village Made Fleeting Art Gallery

In 2014, an ancient Djerbian settlement hosted 250 murals by 150 artists from 34 countries. The lime walls, the intense sun and the sand-laden winds of the Sahara erode the works of art. Erriadh's metamorphosis into Djerbahood is renewed and continues to dazzle.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
End of the day at the Teesta river dam lake in Gajoldoba, India
Dooars India

At the Gates of the Himalayas

We arrived at the northern threshold of West Bengal. The subcontinent gives way to a vast alluvial plain filled with tea plantations, jungle, rivers that the monsoon overflows over endless rice fields and villages bursting at the seams. On the verge of the greatest of the mountain ranges and the mountainous kingdom of Bhutan, for obvious British colonial influence, India treats this stunning region by Dooars.
Gray roofs, Lijiang, Yunnan, China
Lijiang, China

A Gray City but Little

Seen from afar, its vast houses are dreary, but Lijiang's centuries-old sidewalks and canals are more folkloric than ever. This city once shone as the grandiose capital of the Naxi people. Today, floods of Chinese visitors who fight for the quasi-theme park it have become take it by storm.
Rainbow in the Grand Canyon, an example of prodigious photographic light
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 1)

And Light was made on Earth. Know how to use it.

The theme of light in photography is inexhaustible. In this article, we give you some basic notions about your behavior, to start with, just and only in terms of geolocation, the time of day and the time of year.
View from John Ford Point, Monument Valley, Nacao Navajo, United States
Monument Valley, USA

Indians or Cowboys?

Iconic Western filmmakers like John Ford immortalized what is the largest Indian territory in the United States. Today, in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo also live in the shoes of their old enemies.
Mahu, Third Sex Polynesia, Papeete, Tahiti
Papeete, French Polynesia

The Third Sex of Tahiti

Heirs of Polynesian ancestral culture, the Mahu they preserve an unusual role in society. Lost somewhere between the two genders, these men-women continue to fight for the meaning of their lives.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Winter White
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
Kukenam reward
Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Time Travel to the Lost World of Mount Roraima

At the top of Mount Roraima, there are extraterrestrial scenarios that have resisted millions of years of erosion. Conan Doyle created, in "The Lost World", a fiction inspired by the place but never got to step on it.
El Cofete beach from the top of El Islote, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

Fuerteventura's Atlantic Ventura

The Romans knew the Canaries as the lucky islands. Fuerteventura, preserves many of the attributes of that time. Its perfect beaches for the windsurf and the kite-surfing or just for bathing, they justify successive “invasions” by the sun-hungry northern peoples. In the volcanic and rugged interior, the bastion of the island's indigenous and colonial cultures remains. We started to unravel it along its long south.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Monteverde, Costa Rica, Quakers, Bosque Nuboso Biological Reserve, hikers
Natural Parks
Monteverde, Costa Rica

The Ecological Refuge the Quakers Bequeathed the World

Disillusioned with the US military propensity, a group of 44 Quakers migrated to Costa Rica, the nation that had abolished the army. Farmers, cattle raisers, became conservationists. They made possible one of the most revered natural strongholds in Central America.
Crocodiles, Queensland Tropical Australia Wild
UNESCO World Heritage
Cairns to Cape Tribulation, Australia

Tropical Queensland: An Australia Too Wild

Cyclones and floods are just the meteorological expression of Queensland's tropical harshness. When it's not the weather, it's the deadly fauna of the region that keeps its inhabitants on their toes.
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
Boat and helmsman, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Goa, India

To Goa, Quickly and in Strength

A sudden longing for Indo-Portuguese tropical heritage makes us travel in various transports but almost non-stop, from Lisbon to the famous Anjuna beach. Only there, at great cost, were we able to rest.
The Toy Train story
On Rails
Siliguri a Darjeeling, India

The Himalayan Toy Train Still Running

Neither the steep slope of some stretches nor the modernity stop it. From Siliguri, in the tropical foothills of the great Asian mountain range, the Darjeeling, with its peaks in sight, the most famous of the Indian Toy Trains has ensured for 117 years, day after day, an arduous dream journey. Traveling through the area, we climb aboard and let ourselves be enchanted.
full cabin
Saariselka, Finland

The Delightful Arctic Heat

It is said that the Finns created SMS so they don't have to talk. The imagination of cold Nordics is lost in the mist of their beloved saunas, real physical and social therapy sessions.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Fluvial coming and going
Iriomote, Japan

The Small Tropical Japanese Amazon of Iriomote

Impenetrable rainforests and mangroves fill Iriomote under a pressure cooker climate. Here, foreign visitors are as rare as the yamaneko, an elusive endemic lynx.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.