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Holy Week Crucifixions

Think Twice
Category: festival
Where: Santa Lucia, Philippines
When: 22 Apr - 22 Apr 2017

Catholics around the Philippines re-enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ during Holy Week, but San Fernando, Pampanga takes it to extreme. Good Friday in Santa Lucia and San Pedro Cutud draws thousands of people every year mainly for one reason: men and women are nailed to the cross for real.

When we arrived there at around 9 a.m., we could already see processions of flagellants or penitentes, hooded men whipping their already bleeding backs.

Filipinos have come to use the term penitensya to exclusively refer to the act of flagellation, although the word is really a general term for all acts of repentance. Right then, we could not help but be amazed at how religious traditions were still intact in Pampanga, not like in Metro Manila where people are less traditional.

On almost every street were penitentes, some walking with a Kristo, a man imitating Christ, dressed in red and carrying a wooden cross. We also came across a long procession of maybe more than a hundred people walking barefoot, parading a huge cross.


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