Bicol, Philippines – Since I was a child, I always look forward to the “Salubong” tradition every Easter Sunday. But my kuya and I were surprised to see the practice for the “Salubong” @ Cagsawa Ruins. As everybody knows, what is left of the church at Cagsawa is only the bell tower when Mayon Volcano erupted in 1814 and spewed lava that covered Cagsawa church and the surrounding areas.
The traditional Salubong is a popular event on Easter Sunday. It is a pre-dawn ritual that re-enacts the Risen Christ’s meeting with His mother. It is performed within the churchyard under a specially prepared arch where the veiled image of the Virgin Mary is placed. As soon as the procession nears the church, the bells rang deliriously with joy, announcing the glorious resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ!   


Then the encounter of the Risen Lord and His Blessed Mother will take place. This is dramatized by the SALUBONG. Little children dressed as angels are slowly lowered by ropes from a high platform and they lift the mourning veil from the grieving Mother Dolorosa and announced to her the resurrection of her dearly beloved Son. The Virgin Mary would then be “Ang Birheng Nagagalak”. In other parishes, the angel releases trained doves to snatch away the veil of the Virgin while in others, the angel attaches the veil of the Virgin to balloons to take it far up into the air.


While the Regina Coeli is being sung, the little angels scatter flowers and petals to the images of the Mother and Son. The people would then scramble to get the petals as a memento of the event. Farmers would often place these petals in their farm bed for good harvest.


The participants in the procession are segregated by gender. The men and boys follow the image of Jesus Christ, while women and girls follow the image of the Virgin Mary. The procession ends with the two groups meeting in the church, where Mass is said.


The “Salubong” is an authentic manifestation of Filipino piety and
religiosity. Do you know of any counterpart or similar practice in
other countries of the “Salubong”?

After every spectacular Easter Sunday Salubong and the solemn Mass, my cousins and I would proceed to our lola’s house for an early breakfast of Cacao hot chocolate, suman ( rice cake wrapped in banana leaves and steamed to a sticky consistency) and bihon. Then, we would go to our respective rooms for a much deserved sleep.


  1. We have Salubong also in Abucay, Bataan my father's place. I always watch it when we were kids, my cousins used to act as the angels but I have not watch one for a very long time! ;(

  2. Me and my Mom joins the salubong every year in Marikina. I think, this is our "panata" as mother and daughter. It just feels good to see Mama Mary and Jesus finally "see" each other after the sufferings.. This always gives me goosies.

  3. It must have been a spectacle..
    Cagsawa Ruins is such a commodity to tourist!
    I've heard about this famous since I learned how to read and write..
    Must be an awesome place to visit!

  4. My dad grew up in Bicol, but I've never ever stepped foot in any parts of the region.. >.< I hope someday I get to visit Cagsawa too and witness Salubong.. 🙂 Hope you had a meaningful Holy Week achie! Happy Easter!

  5. oh nice. glad you are able to witness the salubong at the cagsawa ruins. i am from bicol and love going to Cagsawa whenever I visit but I didn't know about the Salubong thing on Easter Sunday.thanks for sharing.

  6. I have always promised myself to visit that place as my Lolo was born and raised there so is my bf 🙂 It seems you had a great time at a very rare place to practice Salubong.

  7. Surely sis I will be able to book a trip to Cagsawa Ruins and get to finally experience this historical site soon (even if it's not during the holy week).. maybe next year! Will bookmark your post so that I can come back to it when I start making my itinerary. =)

  8. fyhmd please read my post 🙂 If you missed it, try reading it again po, you will notice that what my kuya and I witnessed is the practice of the salubong last Black Saturday:-)and not the actual salubong on Easter Sunday. I indicated that clearly on the first paragraph pa lang po. I hope next time you'll take the time to at least read my posts para po alam mo ang kasagutan sa iyong katanungan :-)Maraming salamat po.

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