The Santa Misericordia of Angeles is owned by the Evangelistas of this city, known for their pioneering telecom business. It was commissioned by Don Roman Bernardo Evangelista and his wife Dona Francisca Dizon Dela Resma, along with another statue intended for the La Naval celebration—the image of San Miguel Arcangel.
The Misericordia was completed in 1907 to honor the birth of the couple’s youngest son, Santos Evangelista, while the San Miguel, given to the eldest son, Domingo Sr., was inaugurated in 1916.
The Santa Misericordia, also locally known as “Macapacu Qng Cruz”or the Crucifixion, is a tableaux that depicts figure of the crucified Christ flanked by San Juan and the Mater Dolorosa. Interestingly, there are two other characters atop the ladder another horse-riding soldier positioned at the back of the cross.
With all these santo figures, the Misericordia looks more like another scene known as The Descent from the Cross (El Sagrado Descendemiento), in which San Nicodemus and San Jose Arimathea are shown bringing down the body of Christ from the cross. Could it be that the two figures on the ladder were later additions to transform the Crucifixion into a Descendemiento tableau?
In the past, Angeles’ Sta. Veronica, for example, is converted into a Sta. Salome on Holy Thursday. I have also seen two-faced Virgins so that using the same body, the image can either be a Dolorous Virgin and a Joyful Virgin, with just a twist of the head.
When the Misericordia was completed, it was given to the care of Don Ramon’s only daughter, Leonora Evangelista (Panlilio) and the aforementioned youngest son, Santos. When the Evangelista siblings passed away, Jesus and Zon Gopiao, became the caretakers of the carroza.
When not in use, the santos and their carrozas are stored in a spacious room designed expressly for their safekeeping.
Today, the children of Leonor-- Gerry, Mary Ann Panlilio Reyes and William Panlilio, plus the 3rd generation members of the clan—continue the family tradition of caring for these beloved family heirlooms. They regularly participate in the annual Lenten rites of the city of Angeles.
I wish to thank Mr. Ira Jay Evangelista for the pictures and Mr. Josel Suarez for the bacground of the images, both of whom are descendants of Don Roman Evangelista.