Carroza tradition pushed

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

PROMINENT families in the northern town of Bantayan spend much on their carrozas for the Holy Week processions as a way of expressing their devotion to Jesus Christ.

For the Carabio family, joining the yearly procession is also a way to preserve the works of their ancestors.

Reynaldo Carabio, a 51-year-old graphic artist, traveled from Cebu City to Bantayan to help prepare the life-sized statues made by his great grandfather Severino Carabio.


On the morning of Good Friday, Reynaldo cleaned up the statue of Jesus Christ with his daughter Charmaine, 28, and son Daryl, 25.

Reynaldo, who wasn’t able to spend the Holy Week in Bantayan last year, repainted parts of the statue of Jesus Christ.

The statue belongs to the carroza of the Pestaño family, who are related to the Carabios. The carroza depicts the descent of Jesus Christ from the cross.

“This is our way of preserving our grandfather’s works as well as our family ties,” Reynaldo told Sun.Star Cebu.


The Bantayan Parish Museum staged a two-day exhibit of the works of Severino, popularly known as Ma Binoy.

The exhibit, held in time for Holy Week, featured eight religious icons sculpted by Severino, one of his paintings and a set of images portraying the death of St. Joseph.

Gal Castro Menoria, assistant curator of the museum and a great grandson of Severino, said wealthy families in Bantayan sometimes commission the sculptor to make religious statues during the early part of the 20th century.

The icons on display at the exhibit, except for one, belong to the grandchildren of Severino. Menoria himself lent three icons.

“This is the second exhibit of Ma Binoy’s works and probably the last,” said Menoria, noting the difficulty in convincing owners to lend the icons.

“We can’t keep on loaning these items,” he said, adding he lent three icons on condition that the museum hire security guards to protect them.


The first exhibit was staged in 2005. The latest one was opened during Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

Many of the statues featured in the carrozas during last Thursday and Friday’s processions were made by Severino. Some of these were damaged when super typhoon Yolanda hit the island last Nov. 8.

The statue of Jesus Christ owned by the Pestaño family sustained cracks after getting soaked in rainwater.

The carroza’s six other statues also sustained minor damages. These were the last set of statues made by Severino.

The family spent over P100,000 for the decoration of the carroza and other expenses including food for their guests. The processions are followed by a dinner at the house of carroza owners.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 21, 2014.

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