Every year a Filipino man marks Good Friday with an actual crucifixion. He just did it for the 33rd time


Passion of the PhilippinesAs Christians around the world celebrate Easter, religious fanatics in the Philippines commemorate the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ with extreme acts of penitence. They flog themselves with wooden whips and some are nailed to the cross to atone for their sins. Catholic leaders in the Philippines condemn the practice.

Passion of the PhilippinesAuthorities in the Philippines have said they expect at least 24 penitents to be nailed on the cross on Good Friday.

Passion of the PhilippinesMaleldo, the Holy Week re-enactment of Christ’s Passion and Death, has been performed every year for the past 51 years, city councilor Jimmy Lazatin said.

Passion of the PhilippinesA portrait of Jesus covers a penitent’s face as he carries a cross during a Holy Week ceremony in the northern province of Pampanga in the Philippines.

Passion of the PhilippinesPenitents commemorate Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection with self-flagellation, whipping their backs with wooden flails.

Passion of the PhilippinesRenate, pictured, has participated in the Good Friday celebrations for the past 23 years. When asked why he goes through the pain, he says: “Too many sins, too many sins.”

Passion of the PhilippinesBishops in the Philippines – which is home to 75 million Catholics – have discouraged people from engaging in extreme acts of faith, like self-flagellation.

Passion of the PhilippinesDevotees believe that by showing penance for their sins, God will provide them with blessings, such as good health.

Passion of the PhilippinesFirst-aiders are at the site, helping those who collapse from heath, dehydration and need their wounds treated.

Easter PenitentsPassion of the Philippines in the PhilippinesPublic health officials in the Philippines have warned those partaking in the ceremonies against the risk of developing infections.

Passion of the PhilippinesA girl watches penitents carrying wooden crosses taking a rest along a road during a ceremony in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Passion of the PhilippinesUp to 5,000 men have chosen to participate in the Good Friday celebration as penitents. Jimmy Lazatin, city councilor who co-organizes the event, says the men have different reasons for their actions. For some, it’s their faith. For others, it’s “macho” entertainment.

Passion of the PhilippinesRuben Enaje, 53, a carpenter and sign painter from San Fernando Pampanga, has played the role of Jesus for the past 27 years.

Passion of the PhilippinesA penitent is nailed to a cross during the reenactment of crucifixion on Good Friday in the village of San Juan, San Fernando City, north of Manila.

Passion of the PhilippinesFor the 75 million Catholics in the Philippines, Easter is the spiritual highlight of the year. Thousands wait patiently for long hours in 40 degrees heat, just to catch a glimpse of this brutal tradition. Lazatin says the city expects around 40,000 visitors.

Passion of the PhilippinesMany of the penitents believe their sacrifice can help their families. Lazatin says many choose to participate for the first time when their loved ones suffer from illness.

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