Monday, April 18, 2011


From way back the innocent days of boyhood, these costumed figures never failed to frighten me more than just a little - those big, bulging eyes that matched their menacing expressions.   They scared us then and continue to scare small children to this very day.  Hudeos (Jews), they were popularly called - although they are more accurately Roman legionnaires, the carozza tableau cast of the Lord's Third Fall or what is commonly referred to as the Tres Caida (which, I think, should really read as the more grammatically correct Tercer Caida).  These imagenes have always been  showstoppers, among the most popular icons of our Holy Wednesday processions.  This tableau is owned by Cabuyao's old Gatdula family and presently under the care of Mr. Vic Gatdula and his children.  I believe the "Hudeos" are still the original images although the figure of the fallen Christ now holds a replacement head of more recent vintage, with the heirloom ivory original stolen a few decades ago.
Putting them somewhat in the same cultural genre as the aswang and the kafre, mothers and common folk still find usefulness in these Hudeos as they use them to exact obedience from misbehaving kids, brandishing the oft repeated line that I heard as a child ... "Sige, ayan na! kukunin ka ng mga Hudeo!"

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