Good Friday in some parts of the Philippines, particularly in Bulacan, was not really good... more like weird - and extreme - and strange. Did I already say weird?
It was Friday of the Catholic Holy Week. The street was packed despite excruciating heat.
A lenten tradition locally known as "Penitensya", a bloody event, was one of the most awaited. And yes, children were among the viewers.
Women chant a poetic prayer known as the "pabasa" or "pasyon" which tells the story of Jesus.
Some demonstrate their penance by carrying wooden crosses.
The leaves around their heads symbolize the thorny crown that Jesus wore.
They wore masks simply for secrecy.
Some go for a more extreme practice and re-enact the beatings that Jesus Christ endured in the hands of the Roman soldiers.
They walk barefoot (this is noon so the road is scorching hot)
and they lash their backs with bamboo.
Looking at them, it seemed like they can't make it through but these are the same people who carry on their "panata" or pledge every year.
From what we know the Catholic Church discourages self-flagellation but these people think it's a form of repentance.
All in the name of their faith.
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