Philippines stages bloody crucifixions

2012-04-06 10:00
A Filipino devotee nails the feet of woman penitent Percy Valencia to a wooden cross during Good Friday rituals at the municipality of Paombong, Philippines. (Aaron Favila, AP)

A Filipino devotee nails the feet of woman penitent Percy Valencia to a wooden cross during Good Friday rituals at the municipality of Paombong, Philippines. (Aaron Favila, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

San Fernando - Roman Catholic fanatics in the Philippines had themselves nailed to the cross in a bloody display of religious frenzy as the Christian world marked the day Jesus was crucified.

The gruesome real-life re-enactments of the crucifixion, which are held every Good Friday, began in the farming region north of Manila at 11:00 (03:00 GMT). They are frowned on by the Catholic church but have become freak tourist draws.

Faith healer Arturo Bating, 44, spread his arms and maintained stoic calm as neighbours hoisted him onto a wooden cross atop a sandy mound then drove 10cm nails through his palms.

"This is a vow I had made to God, so that He will spare my family from sickness," said the penitent, swathed in a white robe after his ordeal, which lasted several minutes and was seen by hundreds of people.

"It was a bit painful, but bearable," added the first-timer, who now intends to take part in the ritual every year.

Physical pain

Two other devotees were swiftly nailed on to the same cross in the village of San Juan, on the outskirts of the northern city of San Fernando.

Alex Laranang, 57, said he had had himself crucified every year for the past 12 years.

"I had made a vow to do this every year until I die," said Laranang, who sells snacks aboard buses for a living.

"I do not expect anything in return. I do this for my God."

Like Bating, he said the physical pain was a minor inconvenience.

"I hardly feel any pain. The nerves have been deadened."

"After this, I go home, eat and go to sleep. After two days I go back to work," he added.

Extreme


In the nearby village of San Pedro Cutud, local officials said up to 20 penitents would be nailed to crosses during the day.

A woman and four male devotees, including two who were doing it for the first time, were also set to be nailed to crosses during the day in Paombong town north of Manila, said local official Reynaldo Sulit.

Archbishop Jose Palma, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said earlier this week that while the church did not encourage the extreme show of worship, it does not fault those who would go through it.

"We do not judge and condemn, but we discourage it," the church leader said on Catholic radio Veritas.

Crucifixions are the grisliest, but by no means the only extreme acts of penitence on show in the Philippines, Asia's largest Catholic outpost where the sect counts some 75 million adherents.

Many Filipinos practiced more practical acts of piety like visiting a series of churches on foot to pray during the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday holidays.

But dozens of barefoot male devotees with black facial hoods whipped their bare backs bloody with strips of bamboo tied to a string as they went around the San Fernando neighbourhoods on Thursday and Friday.

They were followed by groups of children who covered their faces as blood from the whips sprayed on to their clothes.

In Paombong, about a thousand spectators patiently waited for the crucifixions to start under the hot tropical sun.

"People here follow their own beliefs. We should not take that against them," said Sulit, the local official who oversees the ceremony for the municipal government.
Read more on:    philippines  |  religion
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
34 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.