The Gasang-Gasang Festival is a street dancing festival held annually in Gasan, in Marinduque province. The festival was inspired by the Moriones and the Sinakulo, passion plays. Accompanied by the beat of festival drums, contingents from the different barangays compete for the best in costume and choreography. The drama revolves around the morion tradition and the Resurrection and takes place on Easter Sunday.
It was in Gasan where scholars and journalists first discovered the existence of the Morions way back in the 60’s. After it caught the imagination of the world in view of its uniqueness as a Lenten tradition, the introduction of ideas to come up with a more elaborate festival was entertained and pursued by the local leaders. Eventually, the holding of the evening cenaculo (“Pugutan” they called it because the play ends with the martyrdom of Longhino), was conceptualized in Gasan to replace the Easter Sunday moryonan street play (also called by the same name, Pugutan).
The “pugutan”-cenaculo was introduced during the incumbency of Mayor Mendoza. The commissioned playwright wrote then that it was intended to “put more meaning” into the ritual as this meaning “is lost” in the traditional street-play highlighted by the chase and mock-beheading of Longhino. Boac, the capital town followed suit years later, using the new Gasan script, the Malolos, Bulacan ‘cenaculo’ script, and additional scripts written by local writers.
The reason for the change propagated in Boac, then, and supported by many was for the bigger number of visitors and tourists to see the ‘pugutan’ in the form and context of a Saturday evening cenaculo, as most of them depart from Marinduque already on Easter Sunday morning.
The “Gasang-Gasang” concept was formulated this time is for present-day visitors and tourists to find good reason to stay longer on the island-province of Marinduque.