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Pasyóng Mahál
Pasyong mahal bookcover.jpg
Cover of a typical edition of the Pasyóng Mahál, featuring a depiction of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo.
Author Unknown;
Gaspar Aquino de Belén (first written version)
Original title Pasióng Mahal
Country Philippines
Language Tagalog, other Philippine languages
Genre epic poetry, narration, religious, prayer
Publication date
1704 (de Belén Edition)
Media type Print

The Pasyón (Spanish: Pasión) is a Philippine epic narrative of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In stanzas of five lines of eight syllables each, the standard elements of epic poetry are interwoven with a colourful, dramatic theme. The entirety of the text is chanted during the Lenten season and particularly Holy Week, and is a popular Filipino Catholic devotion.


The text is an adaptation of the pre-Hispanic art of chanting epic poems as a form of oral tradition. After Christianity was introduced by the Spanish, the Passion cycle was adapted into the native art.

The indigenous form of the Pasyón was first written down by Gaspar Aquino de Belén in "Ang Mahal na Pasión ni Jesu Christong Panginoon Natin na Tola" ("The Sacred Passion of Jesus Christ Our Lord that is a Poem"), written in 1703 and approved in 1704.

An 1852 erudition by Aniceto de Merced, El libro de la vida ("The Book of the Life [of Jesus]") did not prove popular with the masses.

Pasyóng Genesís[edit]

The most popular Tagalog version of the Pasyón is the "Casaysayan nang Pasiong Mahal ni Jesucristong Panginoon Natin na Sucat Ipag-alab nang Puso nang Sinomang Babasa" ("The History of the Passion of Jesus Christ Our Lord that Surely Shall Ignite the Heart of Whosoever Readeth").

This version is also known as the Pasyóng Genesís as it includes the Genesis creation narrative preceding the portions on the lives of Mary and Christ, and as the Pasyóng Pilapil, after a foreword by a certain Dr Mariano Pilapil found in the 1814 printing. The book's title page describes it as being commissioned by former Archbishop of Manila José Seguí, O.S.A. and former Augustinian provincial Manuel Grijalvo, O.S.A., and edited by a certain Fr Amador W. Cruz.

A widely-circulated version of this is the 1949 edition published by Ignacio Luna and Sons, Co., titled as Awit at Salaysay ng Pasiong Mahal... (instead of Casaysayan).

Sample text from the 1949 edition of the Casaysayan (Pasyóng Genesís). Shown are the introductory prayers invoking God the Father and St Mary.

Devotional use[edit]

The Pasyón is normally heard during Holy Week in the Philippines, where its recitation is known as the Pabása ("Reading"). The rite can span several days, extending no later than Black Saturday, but is usually ended on noon or before 3 pm of Good Friday (the time when Jesus died on the cross).

Readers chant the Pasyón from beginning to end without pause; this non-stop recitation is facilitated by the chanters working in shifts. The chanters usually perform the rite as a panatâ ("vow"), or votive offering in request or thanksgiving. They are frequently aged women, but in recent years some of the younger generation have shown increased interest in it.

The rite usually takes place in front of a specially constructed shrine or altar within the home or a temporary outdoor booth, covered on the sides by palm leaves. This may also be performed at a local visita/kapilya (chapel of ease) or some other communal area.

As per Filipino etiquette, the host of the Pabasa (most often the master or mistress of the house it is held in) provides a continuous supply of food and refreshments for the shifts of chanting devotees.

Musical setting[edit]

Musical accompaniment to the Pabasa is common though by no means uniform in practise, with popular instruments being the guitar and keyboard. There are traditional tunes that the Pasyón is set to, and these have been passed down through the generations. Recent innovations include setting the epic to popular ballads, pop music, and contemporary hymns.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasyon — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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189 news items

The Manila Times
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 02:49:22 -0700

I know this sounds odd but if you have kids, it's like a little “cenaculo” or “pasyon” since Jack Sparrow does have that Jesus look—the beard, the tanned skin. He does get eaten up by The Kraken in movie two and he “rises up” in movie three to fulfill ...
BusinessWorld Online Edition
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 07:48:45 -0700

In some provinces, the Cristo of the Santo Entierro is surrounded with smoke while a number of women chant the pasyon. This is most probably carried over from a previous practice: of dead people exposed to smoke during mourning, while friends sing ...
Mon, 29 Dec 2014 03:28:21 -0800

It is similar to the traditional Catholic pasyon, a narration of Christ's passion, death and resurrection that elders read or chant during Lent. Saños grew up listening to elders chanting the pasyon in his community. “Pasyon is a metrical romance so it ...
Tue, 10 Mar 2015 09:07:30 -0700

The rediscovery of my roots in the culture of my father began in the summer of 1981, when Doreen Fernandez recommended me as research assistant to an ethnomusicologist doing PhD research on the pasyon in Pampanga. Getting hired to set up and run ...


Sat, 14 Mar 2015 14:42:18 -0700

While Batangueños are feared for wielding the balisong (switchblade), they are also a deeply religious, deeply romantic people. They can be as argumentative as their duplo and karagatan, but theirs is also the home of the pasyon, the awit, the balitao ...
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 08:07:30 -0800

It is more about our extended family's long history of religious attachment to a familiar Lenten tradition: The pabasa ng pasyon, or simply pabasa. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines describes the pabasa as “an epic poem in stanzas of ...
Philippine Information Agency
Thu, 12 Mar 2015 09:07:30 -0700

... father of Ilocano literature; Pedro Mateo and Saralogo Ambaristo, leaders of the Basi Revolt 1807; Valentin Diaz, treasurer and co-founder of the Katipunan; and Jacinto Caoili, poet and author of famous literary works such as 'Pasyon' and 'Urbana ...
Philippine Star
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 00:53:53 -0700

MANILA, Philippines - Rochelle Enriquez, 17, has been joining the 'Pabasa' for four years but unlike her contemporaries who do so by belting pop tunes, she prefers to chant it the traditional way. She said the tradition is important because it allows ...

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