Saturday, January 8, 2011

"Tatlong Hari" in Gasan

(The Magi meet Herod the Great in a tableau acted out in Gasan, Marinduque)

The festival of the Epiphany (Greek epiphaneia, “manifestation” or “revelation”) originally commemorated three incidents that manifested the mission and divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ: the visit of the Magi, the baptism of Jesus and the miracle at Cana.

The Epiphany is thus, a Christian festival that celebrates the many ways through signs, miracles, and preaching that Jesus revealed Himself to the world as Christ, God Incarnate, and King of kings.

Most liturgical churches emphasize the visit of the Magi among these epiphanies. The Magi were members of the religious hierarchy of ancient Persia and Media that corresponds to modern Iran. Often referred to as “wise men”, they were scholars and practitioners of astrology, divination and the interpretation of dreams.
Pious legends about the wise men have also arisen over the centuries. In the western Christian churches, these include the traditions that there were three Magi who visited Jesus, that their names were Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, and that they were kings.

In Gasan, Marinduque, with the establishment of its pueblo 400 years ago, three islets there were collectively given the name, Islas de Los Tres Reyes, Three Kings, and individually named as 'Gaspar, Melchor and Balthazar'.

It is evident that Gasenos consider the Biblical homage to the infant Jesus of the Magi,who represented the non-Jewish peoples of the world as something important to the world.


According to the Bible story, there was also a meeting between the Magi and Herod the Great (King of Judea) who sought to kill the infant Jesus, that had been interpreted by St. John Chrysostom an Early Church Father, thus:
“The star had been hidden from them so that, on finding themselves without their guide, they would have no alternative but to consult the Jews. In this way the birth of Jesus would be made known to all.”

Here in pious Gasan, the significance of the meeting between the Magi and Herod (Herodes to the local folks), are underlined and played up yearly in a colorful and elaborate “Tatlong Hari” festival for the Nativity and the Three Kings' story to be made known to all, with the wise men riding a horse each as they go around the town.

Susong Dalaga Hill

Susong Dalaga Hill
Susong Dalaga Hill from Bagtasan isthmus

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