After our Nagtangco Island hopping tour, we returned to our resort, had dinner and then left again for the next town of Gasan to watch the Pugutan, the re-enactment of the beheading of the Roman centurion Longinus, which was held at an open-air stage.
The past days, the physically draining habulan (chase) was re-enacted wherein Longinus merrily races through rice fields and the streets, pursued by moriones, to the delight of onlookers. Part of the play is a simulated fight between the escaping Longinus and the moriones. He is captured three times, escapes each time and is eventually captured on the fourth try and brought before Pilate.
The Pugutan we were watching is the continuation of this play. Longinus is escorted up the open-air stage by a brass band where he is presented to the people and subsequently tried. The dialogue is in Tagalog. As Longinus refuses to renounce his faith, he is ordered executed. He is given the opportunity to say some last words and a prayer before his beheading (pugutan). At his funeral, Longinus’ body is borne on a bamboo stretcher by moriones devotees.