Antipolo’s famed Alay Lakad resumes this Holy Week 2023
MANILA, Philippines — After being suspended for three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Antipolo City’s Alay Lakad tradition during the Roman Catholic Church’s Holy Week will be resumed, city and church officials said.
While the resumption of the pilgrimage has been announced weeks before, the Antipolo Cathedral’s management encouraged pilgrims to return this year as the church, the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, will be open.
“Tuwing Semana Santa, milyon-milyong Pilipino ang nakikiisa sa Alay Lakad bilang paraan nila upang magnilay, magdasal, at gunitain ang pagpapakasakit, pagkamatay, at pagkabuhay ng Panginoong Hesukristo,” the Antipolo Cathedral said.
(Every Holy Week, millions of Filipinos take part in the Alay Lakad as a way to reflect, pray, and remember the sacrifice and death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.)
“Higit dalawang taon natigil ang panatang ito, pati na rin ang ibang gawain natin tuwing Semana Santa, bunsod ng pandemiya na dala ng COVID-19. Ngayong 2023, muling magbabalik ang Alay Lakad. Kasama ang Mahal na Birhen ng Antipolo, inaanyayahan ang lahat ng mga deboto na magrosaryo, makilahok, at taimtim na magdasal sa Daan ng Krus,” the church added.
(It was stopped for over two years, including other traditions during the Holy Week, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This 2023, the Alay Lakad activity returns and all devotees are encouraged by the Holy Virgin of Antipolo to pray the rosary, join the activities, and pray along the way of the cross.)
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of pilgrims — a mixture of young and old people — would take on the long uphill walk to the Antipolo Cathedral with the belief that they are sharing in Jesus’ suffering during his Passion.
Alay Lakad is a mixture of two Filipino words “alay” which means ‘offering’, and “lakad” or “to walk.”
People would start off their journey from different areas, but would usually converge near Masinag in lower Antipolo, on Sumulong Highway which directly leads to the Cathedral. Along Sumulong Highway are several stops — mimicking Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, or the Stations of the Cross which depict Christ’s journey from the Last Supper, to the Garden of Gethsemane, to his burial after crucifixion, and resurrection.
LOOK: Pilgrims start long trek to Antipolo City for Alay Lakad
However, over the years also, older pilgrims have complained about the youth’s rowdiness while walking toward the Cathedral, with some saying that young people are not really intent in keeping the tradition.
There were also concerns about the huge amount of waste being left by pilgrims, leading the Antipolo Cathedral to issue several guidelines in remembering Christ’s suffering.
“Huwag magsimula ng kahit na anong gulo, palawakin ang pag-iisip at tanging ibigay lamang sa kapwa ay pagmamahal at paggalang,” the Cathderal’s management said. “Ang Alay Lakad ay hindi pag gala kung saan saan kundi ito ay pakikilakbay natin kay Kristo, kaya naman kunin natin ang pagkakataong ito upang makipag-usap sa Kaniya at ipanalangin hindi lamang ang pansariling kabutihan ngunit ang ikabubuti rin ng kapwa.”
(Please do not start any trouble, always keep an open mind and give other people love and respect. The Alay Lakad is not an excursion but a pilgrimage to share in Christ’s sufferings, that’s why we should take this time to talk to him, and pray not only for our welfare, but for other people as well.)
“Banal na lugar ang ating simbahan kaya panatiliin natin ang kalinisan. Mahigpit na ipinagbabawal ang pag-iwan ng mga basura lalo na sa pook dasalanan at sa atin pong daraanan,” they added.
(The Cathedral is a holy place that’s why we should maintain its cleanliness. Littering or leaving trash on the places of prayer and along the pathways are strictly prohibited.)
Antipolo Cathedral’s management also reminded the public to avoid bringing expensive items, as criminals do not pick a proper time to rob people.
Antipolo pilgrimage: An evolving or waning tradition?
LOOK: Pilgrims disrespect Antipolo Church with piles of garbage
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