Calapan City Hosts Interactive ‘Senakulo’ to Promote Inclusivity

CALAPAN CITY - In an innovative approach to a traditional religious event, inclusivity advocates in Oriental Mindoro staged an interactive 'senakulo' on Wednesday, engaging local audiences with a dynamic portrayal of the passion of Jesus Christ. The event, held at the Oriental Mindoro National High School gymnasium, offered a free, immersive theatrical experience to the community.

According to Philippines News Agency, the Volunteer Artists of Oriental Mindoro, the play titled 'Pater Dimitti Illis' (Father, forgive them) or Pasyon de Kristo 2024, aimed to integrate social rights equality themes with the reflective and spiritual nature of the senakulo. Creative director Chavit Zulueta highlighted the participatory and volunteer-driven nature of the production, noting the diverse cast and the absence of financial compensation for participants, emphasizing the communal spirit and faith-driven purpose behind the event.

The performance featured interactive elements, such as direct engagement with the audience and symbolic acts like distributing snacks during a scene depicting the multiplication of bread, enhancing the audience's connection to the narrative. The inclusion of actors from a wide age range and various backgrounds, regardless of their experience levels, underscored the event's commitment to inclusivity and community involvement.

The Oriental Mindoro Butterfly Society, Inc., along with support from first district Rep. Arnan Panaligan and Father Nestor Adalia of the Sto. Nino Cathedral, initiated this unique rendition of the senakulo. The event consisted of two performances: a 2 p.m. matinee focusing on the crucifixion and a more extensive 7 p.m. show that included the entire Passion narrative through the Resurrection, attracting diverse audiences from across the region.

Community development professional Ayyi Gardiola praised the collaborative effort and the spirit of volunteerism that defined the play, recognizing it as a significant contribution to the cultural and spiritual fabric of Calapan City. The event not only served as a medium for artistic expression and religious contemplation but also as a testament to the power of community solidarity.

Furthermore, the senakulo's impact will extend beyond the live performances, with a scheduled broadcast on Calapan Cable Community Channel 9, allowing broader access to this distinctive cultural offering.