MEDINA, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews/04 April) — This municipality of 31,154 residents is playing catch up in the world of tourism through 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 perform the Lenten street play last Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
“We hope the theater tradition of this town can spur tourists to visit our town and watch our Lenten play every Holy Week,” Medina town Mayor Ken Uyguangco said,
Uyguangco said the town of Medina always had the passion for theater starting with their parents and grandparents who acted in variety shows and school plays perfomed on makeshift stages during the 50s and 60s.
He said students-trainors 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.
“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 is being played by a trisikad driver Edu Dorimon while other town residents play the major parts of the Lenten passion play.
“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.
Aclan said their agency is supporting the town’s dream of bringing in “cultural tourists” under their program “ One Town-One Product or OTOP.”
She said there are only three places in the Philippines who are engaged in “cultural tourism,” one of them is Mindoro which stages the yearly Moriones Festival.
Aclan said Medina residents can enjoy the brisk trade that will be spawned by the popularity of “Hinuklog” by making trinkets, Tshirts and offering their houses to tourists. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)