Holy Week is a very busy season in the Philippines. Locals, and even foreigners, flock to various locations throughout the provinces to witness the various “holy” events that happen this time of the year, including the reenactment of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Well, it’s not just a simple reenactment. Participants are really nailed to the cross, with real nails, of course.
In Cutud, Pampanga, some devotees start by whipping themselves hours before their crucifixion to show that they are sorry for the sins they have committed. Then they are nailed to the cross and lifted up to bathe in the scorching heat.
After the ritual, the men are brought down and immediately checked at an onsite clinic to make sure everyone is all right.
Even though this is an old tradition in the Philippines, the Catholic Church does not condone this type of activity, calling it a misinterpretation of the Catholic faith.
However, participants find a lot of value in the practice, claiming that it is a very important sacrifice for them.
Filipino carpenter Ruben Enaje, who has done 26 crucifixions, said, “Even if the church bans it, we will still keep doing it. They should understand that we must honor our practice as we honor their teachings.”