As part of a grisly Good Friday tradition, several Roman Catholics in the Philippines were nailed to wooden crosses and others engaged in self-flagellation to reenact the suffering and life events of Jesus Christ, CTV News reports.
A woman and four men were led by villagers reenacting the roles of Roman centurions to a hill located in San Petro Cutud village, where they were nailed to crosses. Nearby farming towns in northern Philippines carried out similar reenactments. Thousands of spectators, including tourists who traveled to the Philippines for Good Friday, watched the annual event. The Catholic Church is unsupportive of the ritual. Instead, it asks the faithful to engage in prayers and selfless acts.
"We're from Poland, so it's also a Catholic country but there is nothing like that. It's much more peaceful and quiet," said one visitor, Magdalena Tyburcy.
Before the crucifixion reenactments, Numerous worshippers repeatedly hit their bare backs with sticks of sharp wood and bamboo. Some had razor cuts on their backs to ensure that they bleed.
In the reenactment, painter Ruben Enaje, 59, played the role of Jesus. This was the 33rd time he has been nailed to the cross, which he says he does to thank God after surviving a fall off of a building.
“Next year, I'm going to be a senior. Our bones are a bit different, you start to get hurt. I'll just pass down (this tradition) to someone younger than me," he said.
The Philippines has the largest number of Catholics than any other nation in Asia.