BGC Stations of the Cross exhibit highlights suffering and acceptance

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 30) — Every Holy Week, the posh commercial district Bonifacio High Street at the Bonifacio Global City gets filled not with shoppers but Christian pilgrims and devotees.

Now on its tenth year, the group Church Simplified stages “Walkway: Reflections on the Stations of the Cross” with the theme “The Cross and the Table.” It features interactive art installations, depicting fourteen stations of the cross telling the story of Jesus’ last moments, from his condemnation to his death.

Pastor Bebo Bharwani explained the group chose to highlight the two symbols of faith – the cross, as the most extravagant display of love the universe has ever known and the table, as an indication of acceptance and community.

He said: “Even (in) Jesus’ ministry, he’s always criticized for eating with the wrong people, always inviting people to his table – the tax collectors, prostitutes… We felt this year the world was so divided, hostile. Social media caused us to not talk to each other. The lack of kindness, the lack of words. And so we thought the cross – reflecting on what Jesus did, could really bring us back together.”

With the interactive art exhibit, devotees are given the chance to pray and reflect, as well as perform acts to apply in their own lives what Jesus’ sufferings mean for them.

There’s a part where one can experience carrying a cross; nailing a piece of paper on the cross with your name on it, as an act of surrender; writing prayers for yourself, loved ones and even enemies; and a big table where one can sit with perceived misfits of society.

The installations were set up by creative director Luis Daniel Tabuena, production designer Freddie Gonzales and lead writer Issa Gonzales.

Bharwani explained: “Art has a way of doing that – from the conceptual, art brings it down to earth. Especially with the interactive experience, it’s not just to forgive someone, but to write that person’s name. We want to bring you back to that place… We’re asking people to reach out to your friends, your family. Maybe consider that if relationships have fallen apart in your life, it’s good time to reflect.”

Arnold and Melissa Ang have been going to the Walkway for three years now, with their two children. Melissa said, “It’s a good reminder. We don’t want our kids to grow up thinking Easter is just about Easter eggs. We want them to remember that Jesus sacrificed for us and that’s what really matters.”

The Walkway will be on display until April 1, Easter Sunday. Church Simplified will also stage a free concert by Gary Valenciano, Clara Benin and Quest at 7:00pm.