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Photos: Real-life crucifixions on Good Friday
The crowd watches as Ruben Enaje, center, is nailed to the cross for the 32nd time during a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings as part of Good Friday rituals in the village of San Pedro Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines Friday, March 30, 2018. Thousands of Filipino Roman Catholic devotees and tourists descended Friday on a farming village north of Manila to witness the crucifixion of several men in a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings, a gory annual tradition church leaders frown upon.
AP/Aaron Favila

Photos: Real-life crucifixions on Good Friday

(Philstar.com) - March 31, 2018 - 12:21pm

MANILA, Philippines — Thousands of local and foreign visitors drove to Pampanga to witness the crucifixion of several men in a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings.

On Good Friday, several penitents had themselves nailed on wooden crosses by villagers dressed as Roman centurions before thousands of spectators in northern Pampanga province's San Pedro Cutud village.

Friday's crucifixions was the 32nd for Ruben Enaje, a sign painter who began his yearly rite after surviving a fall from a building.

The Lenten rituals are frowned upon by church leaders in the Philippines, Asia's largest Roman Catholic nation, especially if the event is used to boost tourism and business.

The re-enactments of the crucifixion, however, have persisted and became an awaited tourist attraction in the largely unknown village in Pampanga province, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of the capital.

Here are some photos of real-life crucifixions on Good Friday in Pampanga. 

Ruben Enaje grimaces after gets nailed to the cross for the 32nd year in a row during a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings as part of Good Friday rituals in the village of San Pedro Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines March 30, 2018. Thousands of Filipino Roman Catholic devotees and tourists descended Friday on a farming village north of Manila to witness the crucifixion of several men in a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings, a gory annual tradition church leaders frown upon. AP/Aaron Favila
Ruben Enaje grimaces as he's nailed to a cross for the 32nd year in a row during a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings as part of Good Friday rituals in the village of San Pedro Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines March 30, 2018. Thousands of Filipino Roman Catholic devotees and tourists descended Friday on a farming village north of Manila to witness the crucifixion of several men in a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings, a gory annual tradition church leaders frown upon. AP/Aaron Favila
Devotees dressed as Roman soldiers lifted Ruben Enaje on the cross after he was nailed to it for the 32nd time during a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings as part of Good Friday rituals in the village of San Pedro Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines March 30, 2018. Thousands of Filipino Roman Catholic devotees and tourists descended Friday on a farming village north of Manila to witness the crucifixion of several men in a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings, a gory annual tradition church leaders frown upon. AP/Aaron Favila
Ruben Enaje, right, grimaces as his feet are nailed to the cross for the 32nd time during a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings as part of Good Friday rituals in the village of San Pedro Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines Friday, March 30, 2018. Thousands of Filipino Roman Catholic devotees and tourists descended Friday on a farming village north of Manila to witness the crucifixion of several men in a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings, a gory annual tradition church leaders frown upon.
Nails pierce through Ruben Enaje's feet as actors dressed as Roman soldiers hold the cross during a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings as part of Good Friday rituals in the village of San Pedro Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines March 30, 2018. Thousands of Filipino Roman Catholic devotees and tourists descended Friday on a farming village north of Manila to witness the crucifixion of several men in a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings, a gory annual tradition church leaders frown upon. AP/Aaron Favila
Maryjane Sazon, a 39-year-old beauty salon worker, grimaces as she gets nailed to the cross as part of Good Friday rituals in the village of San Pedro Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines Friday, March 30, 2018. Sazon said she has joined the tradition for seven years in the hope of being cured of severe headache and nervous breakdown. Thousands of Filipino Roman Catholic devotees and tourists descended Friday on a farming village north of Manila to witness the crucifixion of several men in a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings, a gory annual tradition church leaders frown upon. AP/Aaron Favila
Maryjane Sazon, a 39-year-old beauty salon worker, grimaces after being nailed to the cross as part of Good Friday rituals in the village of San Pedro Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines Friday, March 30, 2018. Sazon said she has joined the tradition for seven years in the hope of being cured of severe headache and nervous breakdown. Thousands of Filipino Roman Catholic devotees and tourists descended Friday on a farming village north of Manila to witness the crucifixion of several men in a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings, a gory annual tradition church leaders frown upon. AP/Aaron Favila
Ruben Enaje reacts after he was nailed to the cross for the 32nd year in a row during a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings as part of Good Friday rituals in the village of San Pedro Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines March 30, 2018. Thousands of Filipino Roman Catholic devotees and tourists descended Friday on a farming village north of Manila to witness the crucifixion of several men in a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings, a gory annual tradition church leaders frown upon. AP/Aaron Favila
Ruben Enaje is laid on the ground as an actor portraying Mother Mary participate after he was nailed to the cross for the 32nd year in a row during a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings as part of Good Friday rituals in the village of San Pedro Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines March 30, 2018. Thousands of Filipino Roman Catholic devotees and tourists descended Friday on a farming village north of Manila to witness the crucifixion of several men in a reenactment of Jesus Christ's sufferings, a gory annual tradition church leaders frown upon. AP/Aaron Favila

— with report from AP

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