HomePhilippiniana Sacravol. 46 no. 136 (2011)

The Considerad in the Religious Tradition of Panay

Noel Vincent B. Abalajon



This article aims to preserve and conserve a significant part of the culture of the people of Panay, which is constitutive and reflective of their identity as a people. Since the sixteenth century the town of Panay in the province of Capiz has been the cradle and bastion of Christianity in the island of Panay. It was the first town after Cebu that was evangelized by the Spanish missionaries who accompanied Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565. Today, this old town stands as a silent witness to the unfolding of Philippine history as seen in the famous Santa Monica Church, declared as National Historical Landmark in 1997 and National Cultural Treasure in 2004, and other surviving structures, which may be traced back to the Spanish Period.

Aside from this built heritage, however, in the same town of Panay, a unique but less-known religious practice held every Good Friday during the Burial Procession of Jesus Christ (Procesión del Santo Entierrio) called Considerad, from the first words that begin each verse, which means “reflect” or “meditate,” offers a veritable witness to a religious custom introduced by the Augustinians in Capiz that has survived the vestiges of time.

The Considerad is carried out by selected forty-six (46) young boys of the town of Panay, forming two lines and carrying bamboo poles with the symbols of Christ’s passion and death. It is accompanied by their recitation of prepared texts, alternately in Spanish and Hiligaynon, which exhort the Christian listener to contemplate on each instrument in the sufferings of Jesus Christ, from his betrayal to his death through crucifixion.

Two parts comprise this study: the first part provides the historical background of the town of Panay and the province of Capiz from the precolonial to the Spanish times (1566-1898) in order to situate this traditional custom in its proper context; and the second gives its central treatment to the Considerad of Panay, a revisionist attempt on the part of the researcher to reconstruct its obscure origins from primary sources.