The Christ of the Filipino Semana Santa is a fragile, feminine figure. He is portrayed with the slender androgynous face and ephebe body of the Greek beautiful boy. Long, dark curls flow from his pale Iberian head, from which rays of light radiate like the three  points of a diadem. 

Bantayan, Cebu, Philippines (2004)
Bantayan, Cebu, Philippines (2004)

As he bears his cross on the way to Golgotha, he wears a tunic, fitted at the torso and cinched at the waist, but flares into a full skirt that almost covers his carrozza. It is made of deep-colored velvet, and gilded with ornate Renaissance embroidery, as if the agony is more profound when it is delicate royalty’s.

Naga City, Philippines (2015)
Naga City, Philippines (2015)

He suffers at the hands of Roman soldiers like a Gothic virgin despoiled, their bloodlust, heightened by his feminine passivity and receptivity. Even in death, the torture wounds on his body are softened with a shroud of translucent veil. He is no longer the Son, but the Bride, like Persephone, descending to the underworld on Good Friday to minister to our dead.

Bantayan, Cebu, Philippines (2004)
Bantayan, Cebu, Philippines (2004)

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