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THE “MORIONES”

          The Moriones first appeared in Mogpog in 1807 as initiated by the Parish Priest, Father Dionisio Santiago. This is the reason why Mogpog claimed to be the origin of Moriones. This tradition is observed by men, and now, even by some women during the Holy Week starting from Holy Monday to Easter Sunday. The penitents wear masks and costumes similar to those worn by the Roman soldiers as a way of atonement for their sins committed or for other similar reasons. The penitents roam around the town for the day throughout the week wearing masks and glamorously designed costumes.

The culminating activity is done on Eastern Sunday after Christ has risen. The ceremony is the re-enactment of the biblical story of Longinus.

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Longinus was a Roman soldier whose one eye was blind. Before the body of Jesus was taken down from the cross, Longinus thrusted a spear on His side and came forth blood and water. A drop of blood spurted in the blind eye of Longinus, miraculously curing him of his blindness.
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Longinus headed a group of soldiers detailed to guard the Holy Sepulcher where the body of Christ was buried. He witnessed the Resurrection of Christ on the the third day. He rushed to tell the news to the scribes and pharisses and shouted around the town what he witnessed. He refused to keep it a secret, so a manhunt was ordered by the Chief Priest and scribes to kill him. The centurion voluntarily surrendered but before he was beheaded, he told his captors that the blood of Jesus cured his blind eye and bravely swore of Jesus’ Resurrection.