MANILA -- For the past five years, Lance Raymundo has been actively participating in a community play, or a cenaculo as it is called in the Philippines, every Holy Week.
Directed by Lou Veloso, “Martir sa Golgota” is usually staged in parts of Luzon beginning Holy Monday.
“Ever since 2015 kasi, naging part ako ng cenaculo. Every year, I play Christ. Since 2015, tinu-tour 'yung show. We begin sa Sta. Ana kung saan pinanganak 'yung show and we go as far as Baguio or Tarlac,” Raymundo told ABS-CBN News.
However, this tradition was broken this year because of the enhanced community quarantine that’s being implemented for the entire Luzon due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the lockdown, Raymundo said the ongoing crisis gives him the opportunity to “go back to the classic” with his family for the Holy Week.
“Yung family namin kasi we are traditional. Hindi kami 'yung tipong nagbi-beach or we go out of town. I think in my whole life, I’ve only broken that tradition three times. Pero basically talaga, kapag Holy Week, nasa bahay lang kami and we pray with the family,” he said.
When asked how he felt not to be able to play Jesus this year, Raymundo said: “I have a very open mind about this whole coronavirus situation. Para sa akin, kung anong ikakabuti ng tao or kung anong ikaka-flatten ng curve, doon ako talaga. Of course artistically, in terms of panata namin, disappointed kami pero madali namin naisantabi 'yun because we really want the problem to be solved the soonest.”
“Yung senakulo naman, isang simbolo lang ito na ginagawa naming cast para mapaalala sa mga tao ang dinanas ni Kristo. I think kaya naman na ma-relive itong experience if they pray together or read the Bible together at home,” he added.
Meanwhile, Raymundo shared his realizations amid as the whole world faces the coronavirus crisis.
“It really shows that life is really uncertain. No matter how successful you are or how sure you are of how your tomorrow will be, sa isang iglap puwede siyang mag-iba talaga. Ngayon talagang ipinakita na lahat tayo ay pantay-pantay, no matter kung anong estado natin sa buhay, pareho ang situation natin ngayon. It also shows na we should really be united,” he said.
At the end of the day, Raymundo is grateful that he gets to spend more time with his family during the lockdown – something he’s unable to do before.
Meawhile, Raymundo reminded everyone to take the quarantine guidelines seriously so things could go back to normal soon.
“The only way na talagang makakatulong is to follow. For us na hindi frontliners, 'yung pinaka-contribution natin is to definitely stay home para hindi na kumalat 'yung virus,” he said.