PHILIPPINES: Ruben Enaje has been crucifying himself on Good Friday since thirty-three years. Like every year he marks Good Friday by actual crucifixion this year as well.
Ruben Enaje who is fifty-eight has been portraying Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and death on Good Friday since the 1980s.
He portrays Jesus Christ during Holy Week in the Philippines in front of the local and foreign crowd in a village north of Manila.
This is what happens during these Crucifixions
- Actors drive Four-Inch nails through both his hands and feet.
- Then they lift him on the wooden cross.
- He stays up on the wooden cross for about five minutes.
- After Ruben Enaje two men and a woman were also crucified in the same manner.
- Total of nine people was crucified in three different sites
- Dozens of barefoot repentants whipped themselves and carried large wooden crosses.
- Many men wearing red rob with faces covered and hands tied to the wooden crosses walked for hours along the highway in the scorching heat.
- Many half-naked men were also seen hitting their backs with the bamboo flail.
- Women recited religious verses
- The groups also stopped at several spots to offer prayers.
Ruben Enaje marks Good Friday by actual crucifixion: Philippines
Ruben Enaje who is Catholic told the reporters he continues the tradition to remind the world the pain and sufferings of Jesus Christ.
He also said he will stop participating in the crucifixion after next year.
Enaje told Reuters.
“What I’m looking for in my successor is that he serves as a good role model in his community and a person with good manners and values, not someone who would boast about the role or be too proud.”
According to the Bible, Jesus was 33 years old at the time of his crucifixion.
The Philippines 80% population is Roman Catholic, therefore Easter is a major religious holiday.
Many spend Good Friday with family and friends or visiting the church. Many perform extreme religious rituals as performed in San Pedro Cutud.
The Catholic Church does not approve of such extreme rituals and has distanced itself from such displays. They urge people to show their commitment through prayers and charity.
The annual festival of actual crucifixion attracts thousands of people even though unapproved by the Catholic Church.
A large number of people travel to watch the procession in the San Pedro Cutud in the province of Pampanga.