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BY Jaime Uribarri
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Friday, April 22nd 2011, 3:06 PM


alg_crucifixion2 - Christians in PHL celebrate Good Friday by recreating crucifixion of Jesus - Philippine Daily News
A crowd gathers around a penitent who was crucified
during Good Friday celebrations in the Philippines.
Bullit Marquez/AP


Villagers in the northern Philippines took Easter celebrations to a violent extreme Friday by recreating the crucifixion of Jesus.

At least 24 Filipinos from the Pampanga and Bulacan provinces were voluntarily nailed to crosses and tortured in a traditional Good Friday ritual, The Associated Press reported.

The religious blood-fest, which began in the 1950s and currently attracts thousands of worshippers and tourists each year, is frowned upon by the local Catholic Church.

"The Church asks you to deny yourself through mortification, prayer and sacrifice. So it is more of self-control rather than physical infliction on our body," Pampanga Archbishop Paciano Aniceto told The Philippine Star.

"The Church does not ask you to punish yourself corporally."

Despite these official objections, hundreds of devotees continue to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ in the most realistic way possible.



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amd_crucifixion - Christians in PHL celebrate Good Friday by recreating crucifixion of Jesus - Philippine Daily News
Villagers prepare to hammer a nail
into the palm of a religious devotee.
Bullit Marquez/AP


One such penitent, 51-year-old Ruben Enaje, had four-inch nails hammered into his palms and was hung on a cross for several minutes by villagers dressed as Roman centurions.

"When I'm up there on the cross, I feel very close to God," he told the AP. "We grew up with this tradition and nothing can stop us."

A sign painter by trade, Enaje began subjecting himself to this torture 25 years after surviving a fall from a three-story building.

"Not a bone in my body was broken when I fell from that building," he said. "It was a miracle."

"Now, I'm praying for good health and more clients."

In Pampanga, more than 30,000 people witnessed this year's ritual. While tourists - including three European ambassadors - made up a large part of the audience, only Philippine nationals are allowed to take part in the ceremony.

The no-foreigner policy was enacted a few years ago after an Australian comic using a fake name was crucified.

In 1996, a Japanese citizen tried to get nailed to the cross as part of a porn film, tourism officer Ching Pangilinan said.

"They made a mockery out of a local tradition." Pangilinan told The AP.


http://www.nydailynews.com/


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"The Church asks you to deny yourself through mortification, prayer and sacrifice. So it is more of self-control rather than physical infliction on our body," Pampanga Archbishop Paciano Aniceto told The Philippine Star.[/b]

Mas sayon seguro para aning mga tawhana ang pag-antos sa physical pain kaysa pagbaton og self-control.  :P



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