History and Culture
Pagtaltal sa Guimaras
Belle Piccio | Apr 15, 2014
In the Philippines, Filipinos celebrate the Lenten Season with prayers and activities like stage plays. One of which is the “pagtaltal”.
“Pagtaltal” means to remove. Thus, the drama ends with the removal or bringing down the body of Jesus Christ from the cross and is laid in the arms of Mother Mary, a familiar scene we all know and called as the “Pieta.”
Guimaras is not only known for its sweet mangoes but also of its annual Good Friday street drama called “Ang Pagtaltal sa Bala-an Bukid.” It is a reenactment of the passion of Christ which is patterned after Oberrammergau Passion Play in South Bavaria, Germany.
“Ang Pagtaltal sa Bala-an Bukid” is a Lenten presentation on the hillside of Jordan, Guimaras staged by the townspeople every Good Friday. A street drama where devotees, locals or tourists, coming from different places have to walk for at least 2-kilometers to complete the 14 Stations of the Cross to reach the Bala-an Bukid (Holy Mountain).
The increasing number of spectators and devotees yearly shows as proof that Pagtaltal is already gaining its popularity. If you are one of them, make sure to protect yourselves from the scorching summer heat by bringing enough water and food along with you.
How to Get There
From Manila, you can fly to Iloilo (estimated cost of Php3,000++, round trip, one hour).
From Iloilo Airport, take a cab and ask to be taken to Parola which is the jump-off point for Jordan, Guimaras. From there you can board a motorboat (Php14++ per head) going to Jordan port. Upon arriving in Jordan port, proceed to the tourism center just a few meters from the drop-off point. You can ask for assistance getting around. There are also several mini-van and tricycle drivers who offer tour rides.