BY JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Members of cultural groups Sining Bugkos, UGAT-Lahi Artists’ Collective, and Musicians for Peace staged a protest action called Prusisyong Bayan (People’s Procession) around 10:00 a.m. today from the Malate Catholic Church to Plaza Ferguson, near the US Embassy in Manila.
The protesting artists and cultural workers said they sought to express what they described as the sufferings of the Filipino people caused by the local and international economic crisis.
The groups of artists and cultural workers said the procession serves as their artistic protest through depicting the passion and death of Christ as symbolic of the sufferings of the people. Iggy Rodriguez, acting chairperson of Sining Bugkos, told Bulatlat that they are trying to portray the new Christ among the poor and suffering people.
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The procession featured protesters performing scenes from the passion and death of Jesus Christ while carrying anti-imperialist and anti-globalization placards.
One performer played Christ, carrying a cross, while another played President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as one of the people’s tormentors.
Arthur Moses Cadungon, spokesperson of Sining Bugkos, said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been “very dutiful in obeying the US government” rather than addressing and resolving the root causes of poverty in the country. “It is shameless irony to witness how Mrs. Arroyo continues to ignore the needs and aspirations of the people, especially in this time that the nation faces deep socio-economic challenges,” he said.
The organizers said the Prusisyong Bayan provides a glimpse into their upcoming bigger protest action, Kalbaryo ng Mamamayan (People’s Calvary), an annual Holy Week-themed mobilization spearheaded by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan–National Capital Region (Bayan or New Patriotic Alliance-NCR).
This year’s Kalbaryo ng Mamamayan is scheduled to be staged this coming April 7 at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila. (Bulatlat.com)