THE SIETE PALABRAS, FLAGELLANTS AND PENITENTS OF ANGELES CITY
The first time I saw an actual crucifixion and flagellation was 2 years ago in Angeles City. It was during their first Siete Palabaras, a street play re-enactment of Seven Last Words. These are traditions in the Philippines during Holy Week that re-create the finals days and death of Jesus Christ.
Although the Catholic Church disapproves these kind of practices, many devotees still practice this extreme form of self-mortification because of various reasons like Panata (religious vows), to ask for forgiveness of sins committed or to express gratitude for favors granted.
The scene here was more gory compare to what I witnessed in Infanta, Quezon last year. Blood was everywhere; street walls, houses and parked vehicles were all painted red. My shirt, pants, camera and lenses were also splattered by blood.
The rituals maybe barbaric, but for the penitents it is a way to express their faith and become closer to God.