What comes into mind whenever I hear the word â€œHinulidâ€, is the act of spinning thread or something to that effect. I guess that is because the term sounds like the word â€œsinulidâ€(thread) so its like â€œHinulid yung sinulid.â€(threading the thread). However, as I got to high school and became more aware of my surroundings I knew then that Hinulid is a shrine located somewhere in Calabanga.
The religious trek to Hinulid happens on Holy Thursday every year. It is believed to be a form of penitence of the people from repenting about the sins that they have accumulated over the past year. Though some locals would just prepare food outside their houses and offer it to the trekkers to quench their thirst and satiate their hunger to give strength until they reach the shrine.
Im not sure just how many kilometers the trek is but it usually takes 3-4 hours of walking just to get there. Upon getting there, the believers would endure 2-3 hours of waiting in line so that they would be able to touch the statues or wipe the face with their hankies, as a sign of veneration.
I havent tried participating in the journey or trek to the shrine during Holy Week cause we also have our own celebration in our place. The succession of events are followed as they progressed according to the schedule set up by our local church.
However, in spite of not being able to experience it for myself. I have heard of the events and that people from all over the Philippines and even people from abroad would come to Calabanga and pay homage to the shrine.
I learned a lot from the lecture, especially since I havent been there myself. So even through the pictures and the history of the term I did understand the devotion of all the people.
From my perspective, the shrine of Amang Hinulid is posed when he was still â€˜deadâ€™ because people remember the sufferings and loss more. However, it leads to remembering that there are no obstacles that we cannot overcome and that there is always a silver lining under evey cloud. The â€˜Amaâ€™ would be seen lifeless in that tableau but the people will know that in time His lifeless body will be resurrected and shall rise to the heavens.
The tradition is primarily preserved because of religious reasons, also because it is in itself a tradition or already a part of the culture of the local people. It also gives the devotees a sense of being physically closer to God and to Jesus when after all the hardships of journeying all those kilometers, they will be united with their Savior.
This also brings together a lot of people and from the term itself. â€œPagbaklayâ€ is a journey, which is usually done with companions. So a lot of people from couples to family to groups of friends or barkadas get that sense of camaraderie, friendship and fellowship. Added to that effect is the feeling of success that they get when they finally reach the shrine. But I cannot deny the fact that there is a paradox because though people flock to the shrine during Holy Week, the local churches have a lot less patrons coming in and celebrating. Most people would start their trek to Hinulid early so as to avoid traffic or whatnot.
In any case, whatever each individualâ€™s reasons may be for trekking to Hinulid, be it for granting wishes, asking for blessings, showing devotion to the shrine, social reasons or for personal religious reasons, the tradition of â€œPagbaklay sa Hinulidâ€ is already very much part of the peopleâ€™s lives and piety showing affection and dedication to God and to Jesus.