Saturday, April 15, 2017
For several years, it has become an annual event for news sources around the world to report on Filipinos voluntarily crucifying themselves on Good Friday. While these news reports are true, I'm afraid the stories give outsiders a distorted view of the Filipino people.
Contrary to what some headlines might have one believe, these self-crucifixions are not a common practice in the country. I have never witnessed it first-hand and I don't know anyone who has. The practice is condemned by both the Catholic Church and health officials and is, for the most part, done in Pampanga - province north of Manila. The people of this province aren't in the main stream of Philippines; the people speak Kapampangan (a language confined to that area) and not Tagalog.
The annual crucifixions are pretty much the brain child of Ruben Enaje, a Filipino carpenter, sign painter, and former construction worker, who was crucified for the 31st year in a row on Good Friday, 2017.
According to a wikipedia article, 2013 was supposed to have been Enaje's final year to be crucified. He had promised God that he would undergo crucifixion 27 times, but he has not yet found a replacement.
I'm not surprised.