MANILA, Philippines – Millions of Catholics has celebrated Palm Sunday, on April 14, the annual observance as Holy Week began.
Palm Sunday reenacts the triumphant coming of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem before his passion and death on Good Friday.
Millions of Filipino Catholics attended this Sunday's mass and waved their palm fronds, as priests sprinkled these with holy water.
The Palm Sunday rites kicked off the most solemn week in the Catholic Church, commemorating the passion and death of Christ–leading to the celebration of Easter a week later.
In his homily, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle cautioned the devotees on their political decisions as the upcoming 2019 election nears. He said that it is indeed easier to follow those who are popular, because people tend to hope for the latter's fame to rub off on them. But he said he hopes Filipinos would opt to become followers of modest leaders like Jesus, even if doing so is more difficult. He asked:
"Titigan natin ang Mesiyas na nagpapakababa. Susunod ba tayo? Parang mas attractive sundan 'yong nagpapakataas, humahanap ng pagsikat, kasi kapag kumapit ka doon, sikat ka rin. Eh pero kapag siya ay nagpapakababa, susunod ba tayo kasi pati tayo ibababa rin? Susunod ba tayo?" (Look at the Messiah who is humble. Will we follow Him? It seems more attractive to follow the high and mighty, to look for the famous ones, because if we hold on to them, we would be famous too. But if they become humble, will we follow because it means we would have to be humble as well? Will we follow?)
According to reports of Super Radyo meanwhile, around 4,000 to 5,000 passengers are likely to flock to the terminal on Palm Sunday, higher than the 3,600 passengers recorded the day before, said the Araneta Center Bus Terminal coordinator.
The coordinator, however, said that more passengers are expected on Monday or Tuesday in time for payday.
The bus terminal management said that around 99,000 passengers are expected to use the terminal and the Araneta Bus Port this Holy Week.
A total of 88,000 passengers used these facilities during Holy Week last year. (with reports from Rappler, GMA News Online and PNA)