Santo Entierro Procession: Good Friday Traditions of San Fernando, Pampanga

Kapampangans are proud of the 6pm Santo Entierro (meaning Holy Burial) Procession in San Fernando. The Crucifixions in Brgy San Pedro Cutud finish around 3pm. People would then have a late lunch or merienda and rest before the 6pm procession in the San Fernando Cathedral.

Here is a photo essay of one of the solemn and well-attended traditions in San Fernando, Pampanga…

San Pedro by the Hizon Family
San Pedro leads the procession because it is believed that he holds the key to heaven. Take note of the rooster inside the carroza (carriage), popularly known as Ang Manok ni San Pedro.

The Hizon clan owns this carroza, which has been passed down through generations. This is one of the grandest carrozas in the procession — one of my favorites.

The passion and death of Christ is dramatized through the carrozas of the Sorrowful Mysteries.

The first is The Agony in the Garden.

The Scourging at the Pillar…

The Crowning with Thorns…

The Carrying of the Cross…

The Crucifixion…

and the Santo Entierro in the middle of the procession.

The Santo Entierro is followed by the mourning of the santos (saints) who are all wearing black. During the Holy Wednesday procession, they are dressed in their symbolic colors, but on Good Friday, they are donned in black as a sign of mourning. People attending the procession are encouraged to wear black or white shirts.

There is a popular Filipino saying for people who are sad, “Mukha kang Biyernes Santo” — referring to the look of the saints during this time of year.


Mary Magdalene and Santa Maria Jacobe


Saint Mary and Martha at Bethany

St. Joanna and St. Susanna of Galilee

St. Joseph of Arimathea

St. Nicodemus, Teacher of Israel

and finally, San Fernando is proud of three carrozas that are made of Silver!


Silver Carroza of Maria Salome from the Rodriquez Family (photo courtesy of Ivan Henares)

Silver Carroza of San Juan (photo courtesy of Ivan Henares)

One of the most beloved silver carrozas in the entire procession is the one of Mother Dolorosa, Our Lady of Sorrows (by the Panlilio family)

She was the last and the most sorrowful of all. I could feel the pain shown on her face, having lost her beloved son.

I love joining the last part of the procession because of the sorrowful songs accompanying Mother Dolorosa throughout the 1+ hour walk around the city of San Fernando.

The procession ends at around 7:30pm, back at the cathedral.

Good Friday is also a time for a family reunion, which is an old tradition among Kapampangan families. After the procession, we had dinner in the old heritage houses of the Hizon-Singian family. It is one of the cute Victorian Heritage houses along Consunji Street.

In Pampanga, Good Friday is a time for absolute Abstinence (No Meat) but it is usually a feast celebrated during the Family Reunions (No Fasting…).

Thanks to Spanx for inviting and hosting us for the Santo Entierro procession.

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Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2009. 

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11 thoughts on “Santo Entierro Procession: Good Friday Traditions of San Fernando, Pampanga

  1. The saint you failed to identify could be Mary Magdalene, or Maria Cleofe, or Maria Salome, just guessing. These are the 3 saints who had important parts in the death & resurrection of the Lord, particularly because they tried to apply oil on the remains of Jesus but found no body in the tomb on the morning of Easter….I’m a bit familiar with Holy Week procession in San Roque, Marikina City, almost grew up with it every Holy Week. Processions there are every Holy Wednesdays, Good Friday & ofcourse Easter Sunday. There are more or less 40 carrozas with different tableaux. You should witness it next year. It’s comparable to the one in Laguna, Bulacan and even in Pampanga. There’s even a Marikina Catholic Saints owners association, fyi. I just missed this year’s processions for my in-laws had their pabasa.
    Happy Belated Easter!

  2. OMG Anton!! I saw myself in one of the photos. hehehee
    I’m pretty sure you don’t remember me anymore, but you gave me a genki umbrella before (in Serendra). I joined the Crucifixion caroza, I’m wearing stripes. hehehehe. Weird, I did not see you.

  3. Hi Kenny,
    THanks for the comment! Yeah, small world… I was walking fast to capture
    all the Carozas that’s probably why you did not notice me….

  4. OK I’ll make it a tradition to visit one city for their procession or Holy
    Week Tradition. I’ll see if I can visit Marikina next year.

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