This year, the celebration of Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday in the Philippine by the Catholics was on March 29, 2015. It is usually observed one week before the Holy Week. In the biblical history, Palm Sunday includes a procession of the assembled worshipers carrying palms, representing the palm branches the crowd scattered in front of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem. The difficulty of procuring palms in unfavorable climates led to their substitution with branches of native trees. In the Philippines for example, worshippers use the coconut leaves as a substitute for palm leaves.
This post is the celebration of Palm Sunday in San Felipe Neri Parish Church in particular located in the corners of Boni Avenue and Rev. G. Aglipay Street of Mandaluyong City. San Felipe Neri Church is one of the oldest churches in Metropolitan City of Manila. It was run by hostile Spanish friars. For sometime, it was the site of bloody encounters between Filipino revolutionaries and Spanish soldiers. Its facade has a semicircular arch main entrance flanked by niches and twin bell towers with pyramid roofs.
It was still 4:30 P.M. and the sun was still searing hot outside the church and the rest of the Worshippers were waiting for the next mass at 5:00 P.M. for the blessing of the "Palm" Leaves (actually made of coconut leaves) was to be done before the next mass starts.
Most of the churchgoers while waiting for the next mass stayed outside fronting the church but some preferred to stay outside because it was already crowded inside the church and the electric fans can no longer give a cool and refreshing air.
Churchgoers for 5:00 P.M. Mass schedule were eagerly waiting to get inside the church as the 4:00 P.M.Mass was about to finish. Most of them were carrying their "palaspas". Palaspas is the vernacular term for the coconut leaves designed in varying forms to resemble the original Palm Sunday in Israel.
At long last, the 5:00 P.M. Holy Mass started and the huge crown of churchgoers were inside the church waiving their "palaspas" waiting for its blessing by the priest celebrant.
The churchgoers unendingly waived their "palaspas" as the priest had its blessing in every meter away, whisking the holy water so that these "palaspas" can all finally be blessed. After the blessing, the 5:00 P.M. Holy Mass started.