Ramon Efren R. Lazaro
MARILAO, Bulacan --In celebration of the National Heritage Month and annual feast of St. Michael, the Sining Marileño Inc. in cooperation with SM City Marilao launched “Abito: Pamanang Kasuotan ng mga Pari ng Marilao,” a week-long exhibition that will end today (May 11).
The exhibit kicked off with folk singing and theatre play replicating the re-enactment of events during the Colonial Era at the event center of SM City Marilao and features 20 antique piece collection of liturgical vestments worn by the parish priests of Marilao.
The “abitos” documented the beauty of embroidery and intricacy of the different Philippine hand-woven holy garments made from indigenous materials and highlighted the legacies of the past and the town’s identity.
Details of the exhibit exuded the indigenous practices and classical artistry wherein Filipino altar vestments are more than a colorful and fine needlework garment used by the priests. They are treasures of Filipinos' unwavering faith, rich culture, heritage and deep rooted traditions.
"Vestments or abitos are important aspect of our culture. They are the narratives of our faith and our glorious past. They are enshrined to bring us closer to the Creator", explained Jaime Salvador Corpuz, a Bulacan historian and added "I am glad that SM Supermalls was able to accommodate this kind of exhibit. It helps to educate the public on our rich history and our strong faith in God."
Most of the garments featured in the exhibit were selected ecclesiastical garments of priests in the town of Marilao from 1920 to 1950.
Highlighting the exhibit was the ceremonial robe of Father Rufino Santos, the first Filipino Cardinal of the Catholic Church in 1932.
Also featured were some garments by Father Roberto de la Cruz (1934- 1938), Father Marcelino Fajardo (1938-1939), Father Gabino Baluyot (1939- 1945), Father Florentino Fuentes (1945- 1954), Father Angel Pengson (1954- 1956) and Father Avelino Santos (2001-present).