Dozens nailed to crosses on Good Friday in Philippines

March 21st, 2008 - 6:48 pm ICT by admin  

Manila, March 21 (DPA) More than 30 Filipino devotees were nailed to wooden crosses and dozens more whipped their backs bloody in the Philippines Friday in an annual re-enactment of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. Thousands of devotees and tourists flocked to San Fernando City in Pampanga province, 75 km north of Manila, to witness the highlight of Easter celebrations in the predominantly Catholic country.

Nineteen devotees were nailed to wooden crosses in the village of San Pedro Cutud, the main site of the re-enactments, while another 10 were crucified in nearby Santa Lucia village.

Similar re-enactments were also held in other parts of the country, including Manila, on Good Friday, the annual commemoration of Christ’s death.

In Bulacan province, just north of Manila, five people, including an 18-year-old woman, were also nailed to wooden crosses.

In many places in the Philippines, dozens of hooded men walked shirtless and barefoot in the streets, hitting their backs with bamboo sticks attached to ropes or whips fitted with broken glass as penance for sins, offerings for wishes or a sign of thanksgiving.

Foreigners used to join the crucifixion in Cutud but have been banned since 1997 after local officials learned that a Japanese man nailed to a cross the previous year was actually an actor being secretly filmed for a scene in a Japanese pornographic video.

More than 80 percent of the Philippine population are Catholic and mark the Holy Week with prayers, pilgrimages and church visits. Some Filipinos also go on family vacations or visit their provinces during the Easter holidays.

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