June 24, 2018, 10:38 am
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Honoring the Risen Christ

Last Sunday, the 13thof May, upon the invitation of the Escudero Family to their villa at the border of San Pablo City and the province of Quezon, a big number of metro Manilans motored towards the famed Villa Escudero to join in celebrating the Feast of the Ascencion.

This annual event at the villa officially starts at 9:30 a.m. with a solemn high mass at the Chapel of the Ascension; and in proper observance of the occasion, guests are required to come in strictly appropriate Filipiniana rural fiesta attire. 

Guests not in proper attire were not admitted at the gate because Don Conrado “Ado” Escudero believes that being garbed and dressed properly is one way of honoring the Risen Christ.

At exactly 9:30, a parade to the villa’s chapel started with the traditional “higantes” escorting the image of the Risen Christ.  There were the musikeros and their majorettes at the end of the procession. 

As the image of the Risen Christ had been laid in front of the altar, a solemn concelebrated high mass started with bishops     Mel Rey M. Uy,    Buenoventura M. Famadico  co-celebrating. 

The Liturgikon Vocal ensemble; Tomassino Chorale; and the UST Symphony Orchestra provided the music which added to the solemnity of the celebration.

It was absolutely b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l  and worth every minute we spent in the car traveling to Villa Escudero; hoping that with the traffic would allow us to get there on time for the mass. 

After the mass,  another procession took place, this time, known as the “Bati” Procession which starts from the Chapel of the Ascension to the Labasin River Landing where a special participation and exhibition of the Banda Anak Zapote of Bacoor Cavite played in honor of the Risen Christ.

A fluvial procession to Garden Pavilion followed; then the enthronement and thanksgiving ritual to the image of the Risen Christ.

It was almost 12 noon and family and friends of the Escuderos were getting hungry. At the Villa’s Pag-Ibig Hall a super luncheon was prepared with everyone’s favorite dishes. May 13 was also Mother’s Day and people simultaneously celebrated this personally important occasion.   
When it was dessert- time, an impromptu program was presented with the most professional group of senior artists headed by Dr. Raul Sunico, Dr. Ingrid Santamaria – both of whom are the most “senior” and renowned pianists in the Philippines. 

Then, there was Dulce. With her most powerful singing voice that came straight from the diaphragm, it seemed she did not need a microphone. She was f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c and if there be anyone to serenade an audience during such an occasion …….no one else could be more qualified to do so than D-U-L-C-E. 

Although a big number of the guests had to leave early because of the inevitable traffic that may meet them as they enter the “gates” of Metro Manila, another cultural show took place at the Coconut Pavilion; and there were still a large number of people who stayed to experience and savor the performances held in that side of the Villa.

At 4 p.m., another procession of the image of the Risen Christ took place.  This time, the image was being returned to the Escudero Ancestral house.  Most of the people who escorted the image were the Villa’s employees and the Familia Escudero. 

May 13, for those who had become a part of the Ascension of the Risen Christ  Celebration at the Villa Escudero returned to their homes blissful.  

They had witnessed culture; and had expressed their religiosity as they dressed properly…..just like their forefathers did many decades ago.

Thank you to the Escudero Family who have made this possible through all these years……

Salamat po sa inyong lahat!!!
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