The Good Friday reenactment of Christ’s passion and death performed by local residents in Cutud, Pampanga was attended by thousands of people including foreign tourists and media.
The passion play culminates with the actual nailing of penitents to a wooden cross atop a Calvary imitation, as a sign of faith and repentance.
Six penitents were nailed on the cross using stainless steel nails. Prior to the actual nailing rites, more than a hundred penitents paraded on the streets with their head covered, and flagellate themselves as a sign of remorse for their sins.
Ruben Enaje, the leader of the penitents, vowed to bear this crucifixion ritual every year after escaping death when he fell from a 3-storey building in 1985.
Cutud, Pampanga is popular for its live crucifixions. Few more places in this town have been doing the same rites. These crucifixion rites were held as early as the 1950s. Some do it for their families while others do it as a commitment every Holy Week. They continue to do this because it carries their tradition, and they believe that Holy Week will not be the same without this.
However, Church leaders in the Philippines criticize this Holy Week ritual, saying that Filipinos can show their deep faith without hurting themselves.