Monday, April 18, 2011

Cenakulo 2010 from The Centurion Original of Paete, Laguna

The temptation of Christ by the devil in several guises.
It was our first time to watch a cenakulo, the dramatization of the life of Jesus Christ.  We said life because the Martir sa Golgota (Martyr at Golgotha) presented by The Centurion Original every afternoon at the town plaza auditorium of Paete, Laguna started from the annunciation first to Zacarias and Elizabeth and then to Joseph and Maria, and in the first-day performance we saw, the curtain closed at the last supper scene. The passion and death would be the theme of the second-day presentation.

These young girls holding their baby dolls were preparing for the sequence on the killing of the innocents.

This local theater group dates back to November 1975, and we'd like to think that they have been staging the Martir every Holy Week since then.  There could have been several cast changes esp. those who play the lead characters.  It's surprising that most of the players are young, which suggests that the cenakulo will continue to be a living tradition in Paete.   

Script/Sequence guide:  3 sheets for 13 sequences and 22 script pages.
Scriptguide/sequence sheets were posted backstage probably for the narrator, the players and the director. This first 3-page treatment shown in the picture (above) starts with the annunciations to Zacarias and Eliza, and ends with Salome welcoming Herod and Herodias. 

The angel appears to Mary.

Much of the drama was onstage but the chase scenes involving the centurions, the thieves, the capture of John the Baptist spread onto the street fronting the stage.  The chase scenes got to be very physical and a bit violent with some theatrical blood really gushing out.  The spectators loved these scenes laughing at the thieves getting "murdered".

Centurions.  They said their masks are different from those of the Moriones of Marinduque.

Action scenes spilled into the the cordoned part of the street fronting the stage.
Arrest of one of the thieves.

Another chase and arrest.

The devil was portrayed by a gay guy.  We read somewhere that he designed his costume and make-up, and we saw him change his disguise three times while doing the temptation of Christ (see top-most photo).

The following pictures are from the John the Baptist sequences involving Herod, Herodias and Salome.  We think we got distracted that we were not able to shoot the scene where John's head was presented on a plate.

John the Baptist meets Herodias.
John the Baptist is arrested.

The dance of Salome.
And below are the Jesus Christ scenes from the first-day presentation --

"Who wants to cast the first stone? ..."
Washing of the feet of the disciples.
The last supper.

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