Pabasa: Chanting the Passion in the Philippines
For centuries, Filipino Catholics have chanted the Passion of Christ in a poetic manner. Old timers would begin it exactly at 12 at midnight and end in the morning on the following day, taking turns to chant. The leader chants one line while the rest of the congregation answers.
It is said that the Pabasa, which later became “Pasyon,” was first written and sung by Filipino priest and poet Father Gaspar Aquino de Belen of Batangas province, south of Manila.
De Belen produced the first devotional poetry that was translated into many languages in the Philippines.