Hinuklog: MisOr town's community reenactment on the Passion of Christ

MEDINA, Misamis Oriental – This municipality of 31,154 residents is playing catch up in the world of tourism by dipping into its traditional Lenten play “Hinuklog,” a reenactment of the Passion of Christ.

Hundreds of local tourists and residents lined up the streets of this town to watch actors in colorful costumes and good acting performed the Lenten street play last Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

“We hoped the theater tradition of this town can spur tourists to visit Medina and watch our Lenten play every Holy Week,” Medina town Mayor Ken Niño Uyguangco said.

Uyguangco said the town of Medina always has the passion for theater starting with their parents and grandparents who acted on variety shows and school plays staged on makeshift stages during the 50s and 60s.

He said student-trainers later came to Medina, trained the local residents and staged the first Lenten passion street play in 1978.

Uyguangco said the Lenten production has become a passion for Medina residents who always look forward to see the street play every Holy week.

Community endeavor

“What is interesting here is that the characters of the passion play are acted by the local community. It is really a town endeavor,” he said.

Uyguangco said the role of Jesus Christ was played by trisikad driver Edu Dorimon while other town residents play the major parts of the Lenten Passion play.

Uyguangco said that despite political differences and economic status, the town’s folk contributed for the success of the “Hinuklog (reflection)” a Holy Week event.

Artists from the out of school youths, tricycle drivers, students, retirees, government and private employees, among others, took pride of showing their ability as actors and actresses depicting the participation of people during Jesus’ remaining days.

“In this tech-savvy world, it is rare for a whole community or an entire town supporting the production of the play,” Judy Aclan of the Department of Trade Misamis Oriental said.

‘One town, one product’

Aclan said DTI is supporting the town’s dream of bringing in “cultural tourists” under its “One Town-One Product or OTOP” program.

The more than 200 artists and production staff are members of Lumadnong Magdudula sa Medina (Lumagmed) which has been responsible in bringing to the public this OTOP scheme as tourism destination of the province.

She said there are only three places in the Philippines which have been engaged in “cultural tourism,” one of them is Mindoro which stages the yearly Moriones Festival.

Aclan said Medina residents could enjoy the brisk trade that will be spawned by the popularity of “Hinuklog” through trinkets makingg, t-shirts and offering their houses to tourists for home stay.

Production cost

Uyguangco said that last year’s production cost of Hinuklog amounted to P800,000 for logistics. The money spent came from the local residents, corporate sponsors and donations from Medinanhons who are already residing abroads.

“The Hinuklog event is an activity designed to put Medina on the map and showcase the investment potential of the town,” Uyguangco said.

Nelson Gasatang, overall director of the play, disclosed that the holding of the “Pasyon ni Kristo” was stopped in 1991 for lack of logistics.

“Because of the potential of the Hinuklog, we decided to form a council to draw its path sans politics,” Gasatang said.

Since its inception the Hinuklog participants underwent theater workshops to better their acting under the National Council of Culture and the Arts (NCCA). More than P500,000 was spent for staging Hinuklog this year which has one overall director and five scene directors.

“Hinuklog, a church based activity is free of politics despite the support from the local government. It has its own council to plan out its future,” Uyguangco said.

Gasatang said that while they cannot fully deliver what Jesus experienced, but with Hinuklog they can deepen the consciousness of the parishioners with the message that Christ imparted to the faithful.

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