MEDINA, Misamis Oriental -- After its successful run this year, “Hinuklog,” the annual reenactment of the passion of Jesus Christ held in this town, church and local government officials have reiterated the emphasis on the commemoration’s spiritual dimension rather than on its tourism potential.
Fr. Marlo Acenas, the town’s parish priest, said it is their hope that the street play will spiritually uplift its audience.
“Hinuklog is not just [to attract tourists] but it’s more on spiritual enrichment, the deepening of faith,” Acenas said, adding that the play also served as reminder to devotees on the sacrifices Jesus Christ made for the sake of humanity.
Medina Mayor Donato Chan said Hinuklog has a multiple effect on the community since it is not just a part of the municipality’s major socio-cultural activities but an effective form of evangelization as well.
Acenas said by just watching the street play, both visitors and locals will experience something significant that they can share to others.
For her part, Vicky Alaba, a resident here who has been playing the role of the Virgin Mary for a few years now, said she can’t help but be moved by the scenes, especially the part where Jesus had to suffer under the hands of the Roman soldiers, from the scourging of the pillar to the crucifixion.
Alaba admitted that the tears she shed during the play came out naturally due to the intensity of the play.
“It (Hinuklog) really has an effect on us [role players],” she added.
Allan Barcelona, the production director, said the cast undergoes recollection prior to the play.
“We want to motivate them (cast) so they will internalize and apply what they learn from the play to their personal lives,” Barcelona said.
Also for this year, the organizers of the play had introduced new scenes, the most significant of which is Christ’s resurrection, held on Saturday night.
Fr. Richard Deloso, the assistant parish priest, said they decided to add Christ’s resurrection to the play due to its importance to the story of salvation.
Deloso, who studied Theology, said the Roman Catholic Church would not have existed if not for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“I lobbied for its inclusion as it was a very important component [of the play],” he furthered.
He said the resurrection scene was held on Saturday so it won’t run conflict with the Easter Sunday activities.
Hinuklog, Chan said, also saw the collaboration between the local government and the church who are working together to ensure the success of the play.
He said Hinuklog is one of the town’s seven major events, and as more and more visitors are coming in to Medina, the municipal tourism council is planning to implement a “homestay” program to accommodate the influx of guests.
According to Senior Inspector Noel Gabriel, of the Media police station, the street play drew about 3,000 spectators which attended the reenactment scenes on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The reenactment, which started in Medina as “Pasyon ni Kristo” (Passion of Christ) in 1979, went on hiatus in 1991. In 2011, it was revived and was renamed “Hinuklog” (contemplation or reflection).
The play, which runs for more than five hours interspersed in various scenes, employs about 200 local volunteers comprising the cast and crew.