Sunday, March 31, 2013

What I Didn't Do on Good Friday

I had thought about going to see a crucifixion on Good Friday -- it's something the Philippines is noted for, and I'm here in part to experience the culture, right?

Devotees in villages in the northern Philippines took part in a bloody annual ritual to mark Good Friday, a celebration that mixes Roman Catholic devotion and Filipino folk beliefs and sees some reenact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The crucified devotees spent several minutes nailed to crosses in Pampanga province while thousands of tourists watched and took photos of the spectacle, which the church discourages. Earlier in the day, hooded male penitents trudged through the province's villages under the blazing sun while flagellating their bleeding backs with makeshift whips. Others carried wooden crosses to dramatize Christ's sacrifice.

Not just in the north -- it's done a good bit here in Cebu as well.Here is a video of a guy who does it here every year (this one is from a few years ago).

As I was watching the video Thursday night, I realized that it just wasn't for me. The whole thing seems a bit ... weird. Yeah, I know what you're asking ... since when did Bob back off from weirdness? But this isn't my kind of weird, I guess.

Anyway, I went to the Basilica de Santo Nino instead and lit a few candles for family and friends -- I hope you felt the goodness flowing your way.

Walking there took me through the ever-weird Colon district. It was different to see it (relatively) deserted. Usually the sidewalks are literally overflowing into the streets. Friday it seemed like just an ordinary busy neighborhood.

Fewer hookers than usual, even. I was wondering if some took the day off for religious reasons, or because there were fewer potential customers.


  1. I'm upset that I don't get to read a blog post about crucifixions.

  2. I know that a good percentage of my readership is ghoulish, which is why I included the video.