Philippine News, Tacloban – Across the Philippines, thousands of people have flocked to witness the spectacle of men being nailed to the cross. The Easter re-enactment of the death of Jesus Christ, held every year to mark Good Friday, has become a major tourist event, despite church leaders actively expressing their disapproval.
Father Joselito Jopson, an executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said the church did not endorse the practice. “These are private expressions of faith,” he said. “We cannot prohibit them if they want to express their faith in that way.”
The crucifixion volunteers, nailed through hands and feet, can submit themselves to this bloody ritual many times over. They commit to the annual ordeal as a promise to God, made in return for good fortune or the recovery of sick relatives.
Although the crucifixions are not actively promoted as a tourist attraction, the events draw many thousands of visitors each year and provide a lucrative opportunity for local hotels and street vendors.
In Leyte, powerful images of faith and clear devotion are shown at Lent by Leyteños even after super-typhoon Haiyan levelled most parts of this quaint Pacific province.
Thousands of Filipino Roman Catholic devotees flock to church today to remember Jesus Christ’s passion on Holy Friday. This photo was taken as the church in Saint Michael’s Parish in the mountainous Mahaplag, Leyte began to celebrate the holy mass with Rev. Fr. Roel Cahido.