12 April – San Fabian. Salubong is a very unique Filipino Easter tradition. The word salubong refers to the act of meeting someone who is arriving. As the word connotes, the celebration is a reenactment of the first meeting of Christ and his mother, Mary. In the Pangasinan language, this is translated as “Abet-Abet”, literally meaning “encounter”, “meeting”.
The Parish of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr, greeted Easter Sunday with the celebration of Abet-Abet at 5:00 AM. The statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with her black veil, was accompanied in procession by the women of the parish. The resurrected Christ was accompanied by the men. The “abet-abet” or meeting of the resurrected Christ and Mother Mary took place in front of the church patio, just below the arc of the entrance of the church gate.
At the encounter, an angel removed the veil of mourning of Mary. The white veil, signifying the easter joy felt by Mary upon seeing her resurrected Son, was then draped over Mary’s head and shoulders. Then the angels, children who were dressed as angels, sang “Regina Coeli Laetare” (Queen of Heaven, Rejoice).
All the angels then one by one climbed the steps prepared for the celebration and showered Mary with flowers.
A procession to the church with the statues of Jesus and Mary then followed. The first Mass of the day followed the “Abet-Abet”.
Mrs. Lucrecia Ungria, Ms. Joy Quiros and some other parishioners took charge of the holding of the Abet-Abet.
Angels (children) climbing the stairs to shower Mother Mary with flowers.
The procession to the church after the “abet-abet” or meeting of the resurrected Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary.