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MeaningAsh cross mark on the forehead of Catholics at the start of Lenten Season
Dance CultureLowland Christians
Place of OriginGuinangan Quezon
Ethnolinguistic GroupTagalog
ClassificationFestival / Traditional
Background / Content

Buling-Buling (soot or stain) is derived from the soot or ash marking of a cross on the forehead of worshippers applied by the parish priest after the Miercoles de Cenisa (Ash Wednesday) mass. In compliance with the Catholic church doctrine, the mark of the cross serves as a reminder for people to reflect on the message that “it is from ash whence they came and to ash shall they return”.
In the Guiniangan church of Quezon Province on Ash Wednesday, parishioners engage in alms seeking for their patron saint. Festivities start after the mass as groups leave the church carrying flowers and plates encouraging passers-by to donate cash for the church. Moving in groups, the Buling-Buling ensemble, young girls waltzing under two flower boughs, older women who coax people for donations, middle-aged couples (usually 6 pairs) holding out plates for alms and a brass band go house-to-house in the hopes that they be obliged with a little charity.

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