half a century of crucifixions for both penitent and photographer - stainless steel swizzle sticks
I can't help but be surprised at the contrast celebration of the Lenten season, especially the Holy Week, in my country Philippines.
For many, the Holy Week means returning to their hometown for a holiday to relax and reconnect with family and friends.
For others, like those of Pampanga in the north of the Philippines, it is time for the annual religious ceremony, which, in the view of some observers, may be seen as odd.
Pan Panga has become a popular destination for local and foreign tourists as well as journalists, with thousands of confessors since Maundy Thursday and Good Friday
Whip ellate and dozens of Jesus Christ were crucified.
Last Thursday, I followed the people of shirshir down the street and slapped them on the back with a bamboo pole.
Blood not only splashed on my clothes, but also on my camera lens, as I approached the confessors and took a quick shot of their injured and bleeding back.
Sometimes I even taste blood when the drops fall on my face.
When the confessor Reuben ennajie nailed himself to the cross for the first time, it was 1985.
He said it was a vow he made after miraculously falling from the third floor of a building he was painting.
Saw him again last Friday, 26 years of his crucifixion, it is clear that he is old, but the painful expression on his face is three years old
His hands are the same as the inches of stainless steel nails nailed to his feet.
The bus for foreign tourists began to arrive at 9: 00. m.
Although it wasn't really nailed to the cross until 3 p. m.
Everyone has to get there early to see the show.
Dozens of confessors were crucified this year, and Reuben ennajie led them all.
He plays Jesus Christ in the re-enactment, and all the characters are dressed in costumes from Jesus himself to the Virgin Mary and the Roman soldiers on horseback.
After waiting for a few hours, the camera began shooting and rolling, and Reuben, dressed in Christmas costumes, ended the road of the cross on the Hill nailed to the cross.
When the Roman soldiers climbed up the hill where three crosses were waiting, he was pushed by them.
The characters in the Bible published a brief conversation, followed by two thieves first and then Jesus.
Centurion spilled alcohol on the palms and feet of Reuben, and then hammer three-
They put nails in inches.
Putting each palm and each foot on a wooden cross requires only one blow.
Reuben made a painful cry, and then the whole audience saw him nailed to the cross and raised the cross.
A few minutes later, he was carried down on a stretcher and sent to a nearby ambulance to give first aid to his wound.
The way the characters are played quickly shows their years of experience in remaking.
After the show, most of the audience dispersed, but the photographers continued to shoot the next batch of crosses.
Unlike the place where Golgotha was blocked for the first time, the organizers allowed people to gather around the next group of confessors who were nailed to the cross, allowing us to take pictures better up close.
Also, there is no show or conversation on the next cross.
One confessor, who still smells of wine, said it was the fifth year of his crucifixion.
He vowed to perform for the health of the child.
Like last year, he had an extra wish-to win the illegal lottery game in the town called jueteng.
Just like Ruben I started covering the incident on 1985.
26 years later, the ceremony did not change much.
In fact, its popularity may even increase, as evidenced by the arrival of spectators in groups on cars and buses at the Cross scene.
The audience now includes foreign dignitaries who receive senior VIP seats, that is, in a tent area on the vast hot open-air grounds, covering them from the hot summer sun arranged by the local tourism bureau.
When I finish my work, I wonder if the confessors carry out the annual ceremony out of extreme devotion or despair to Christ as they try to get the prayer to heaven.