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Devotees attend Mass early on Ash Wednesday

Several Filipino Catholics went to churches early Wednesday morning to attend Mass and have ashes placed on their foreheads, marking the start of the 40-day Lenten season.

In Quiapo Church, among those who attended the early Ash Wednesday Mass were families and even couples celebrating Valentine’s Day, based on an Unang Balita report of Jhomer Apresto.

Edgar Gatchalian and his brother rode their bikes from Valenzuela City to Manila City to thank the Black Nazarene housed in the Quiapo Church.

“Good health lang, maayos ang [lagay] ng mga bata, ng mga anak namin, trabaho. ‘Yun lang ho para maging maayos ang lahat, ang kalusugan higit sa lahat,” he said.

(We’re asking for good health, good conditions for our children, and good work.)

Meanwhile, student Jocelle went to the church all by herself, saying that the Lord is her date for Valentine’s Day which also falls on Ash Wednesday.

“Importante din po kasi. Ash Wednesday kaya kailangan nating magsimba tsaka manalangin,” she added.

(Ash Wednesday is also important. We should attend the Mass and pray.)


Filipino Catholic devotees line up on the grounds of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church) in Manila to have ashes placed on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday, February 14. 2024. Ash Wednesday marks the start of the 40-day Lenten season. This year's Ash Wednesday coincides with Valentine's Day. Danny Pata



Hourly Masses are scheduled in the Quiapo Church on Wednesday morning from 5 a.m. until 11 a.m. There are also Masses set in the afternoon and night at 12:15 p.m., and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Vendors outside the church’s premises were also selling different Valentine’s gifts.

A flower arrangement of sunflower and rose costs P100, a teddy bear costs P20 to P200 depending on their size and design, while heart-shaped chocolates cost P50 to P250.

Cebu City

In Cebu City, a number of devotees also went to churches early to observe the start of Lenten season, based on an Unang Balita report of Nikko Sereno.


On Tuesday night, the palaspas or palm fronds used in last year’s Palm Sunday were burned in various churches in Cebu.

The ashes collected from the ritual were to be used on the foreheads of churchgoers on Ash Wednesday. —Giselle Ombay/KG, GMA Integrated News