Saturday, April 3, 2010


I woke up around 9AM on Good Friday and I was expecting it to be a boring day. There was nothing to do: no patients, all the malls were closed, no movies were showing, city life had come to a standstill as it always has during the Lenten Season. I was planning to start the many step-process of a general cleaning of my room since I couldn't think of any excuse not to. I checked my cellphone read a message from a friend I hadn’t seem in about 10years inviting me to join them on a road trip to Cutud, Pampanga to watch the province’s tradition of Maleldo  during which ‘sinners’ voluntarily had themselves crucified as penitence for their sins. It would be my first time to see this tradition so despite it being a spur-of-the-moment thing, I agreed to go.

In an hour, I was heading to our meeting place. Usually during Good Friday, Metro Manila is almost deserted, the streets are empty and most of the businesses closed. Somehow it wasn’t as empty this time. The economic recession may have caused more people to remain in the city rather than heading to the provinces and vacations spots.


After about an hour’s drive we arrived in Cutud and left the car in a parking area. Then we walked, and walked, and walked. It felt like more than a kilometer of walking through a street filled with people and vehicles going to and from the crucifixion site. It was hot, very, very hot.


When we finally got to ‘Calvary’ it turned out to be what seemed like a large open field with a small hill where the crosses were standing. The immediate area around the hill was enclosed by a fence where only the media and VIPs could enter, making it difficult to get a good picture. Did I mention it was very, very hot?



The crosses where raised and lowered by men wearing costumes of Roman soldiers. The penitent volunteers where crucified in batches of 3 and remained crucified for about 10 to 15 minutes each. Did I mention it was sizzling hot?


Oh, and when I say crucified I mean they really NAIL the volunteers to the crosses.


In the end, it was the heat of the sun that won and we headed back to the car a lot earlier than we had planned and headed back to the city for some pizza :Dshakeys

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