How Easter is Celebrated in the Philippines

United States By Christy Lowry Feb 29, 2024

Easter in the Philippines

Filipinos celebrate Easter by honoring and observing Holy Week. Through fasting, attending church, and family activities and gatherings, Filipinos make this holiday joyous and celebratory and spend time with their family. From the start of Palm Sunday to gathering for an Easter Sunday feast, there are many traditions and events involved in this religious holiday.

 Palm Sunday

Easter in the Philippines kicks off with Palm Sunday, a day filled with jubilation and reverence. People gather in churches across the nation, waving palm fronds as a symbol of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. During the mass service, Catholics read and chant a poem called “Pasyong Mahal” which illustrates the life, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The atmosphere is one of joy and reflection as Filipinos remember the events leading up to Easter.

Filipinos who live and work abroad can use Western Union to send money back home  and ensure their loved ones have everything they need to make Easter special. Whether it’s to buy ingredients for the Easter feast or to cover travel expenses to attend church gatherings, you can send money with Western Union to keep families connected and their traditions alive.

Stations of the Cross

During Holy Week, many Filipinos take part in the Stations of the Cross, a solemn and deeply meaningful tradition. The Stations of the Cross reenacts Jesus’s arrest, trial, suffering or, death. It is comprised of 14 “stations” that depict the scenes leading to his crucifixion and death. His journey begins with being condemned to death and ends with his entombment. Communities often organize processions where individuals take on the roles of biblical figures, creating a vivid and emotional portrayal of the Passion of Christ.

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday is the pinnacle of Holy Week, ending the week celebrating the resurrection of Christ. Filipinos attend the Salubong, a pre-dawn event where statues of the risen Christ and a veiled Virgin Mary meet. The veil is removed by dove or balloons; if it’s hard to remove, then that is an omen there will be bad luck in the next year. After the ceremony, Fireworks light up the sky, church bells ring, and the country celebrates Jesus’s resurrection.

 Traditional Easter Meals

Easter Sunday wouldn’t be complete without a sumptuous feast. Filipino families gather for a grand meal featuring an array of dishes. Lechon, or roast pig, often takes center stage, along with other local favorites like chicken adobo, kare-kare (a rich oxtail stew), and pancit (different types of traditional noodle dishes). The feast is a time of togetherness, sharing stories, and creating lasting memories with loved ones.


One unique Filipino tradition during Holy Week is the Pabasa, a devotional chant that tells the story of Jesus’ life, suffering, and resurrection. Families and communities take turns singing these verses, creating a continuous melody that can last for hours or even days. It’s a moving and communal experience that fosters a deep sense of spirituality and unity.

Easter in the Philippines is a time of profound faith, joyous celebrations, and cherished traditions. From Palm Sunday’s jubilant start to the heartfelt Stations of the Cross, the grandeur of Easter Sunday, and delicious feasts, it’s a time for family, community, and deep spirituality.

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