The singing of the Hosanna is on Palm Sunday. This is the day when the Christian world celebrates the triumphant entrance of the Lord to Jerusalem. We celebrate Palm Sunday as the Sunday before Jesus was to be crucified.
“Hosanna” means “Praise God”. To the Jewish people, the waving of the palm branches and the singing of Hosanna to welcome our Savior were spontaneous gestures of jubilant exuberance.
Mogpog is not behind in this kind of celebration. Catholics bring about braided young coconut fronds or “palaspas” to church to be blessed. There is a flow of greenish-yellow leaves in the churchyard and in town plaza, which adds color to the celebration. Masses and blessing are held in these two places to accommodate the overcrowding faithful and palm bearers.
After the blessing of the “palaspas”, there is the singing of Hosanna. Four “honsanahans” were built in the designated places in the town proper. Children sang Hosanna as they strew fresh flowers and confetti to the image of Jesus. This tradition was observed for many years. According to old folks, the tune of Hosanna was based from the life and passion of Jesus according to Evangelists San Mateo, San Marcos, San Juan, and San Lucas.
Nowadays, changes are made in the celebration. Selected houses or four big trucks properly decorated are used as honsanahan. But whatever the changes are, the tune still remains the same, maintaining its originality.
The older singers of the hosanna in our town were Cabesang Cayetana Larraquel and Jose Livelo (Tatang Peping) with Juan Lusterio in the early 1912 accompanied by Francisca Hilario and Ignacio Livelo.
The blessed palms were hung on doors and windows of houses or placed in the altar at home. They are said to protect the residence from the calamities as typhoons and earthquakes. It is believed that the blessed “palaspas” not only keep evil spirits away, but also gives good fortune to the dwellers.
The dried blessed “palaspas” are burnt into charcoal and used during Ash Wednesday.