LOOK: Filipino Devotees Nailed To Crosses In Good Friday Rites

Filipino devotees had themselves nailed to wooden crosses to imitate the suffering of Jesus Christ on Good Friday in Asia’s largest Roman Catholic nation.

Church leaders have spoken against the annual practice mixing Catholic devotion with folk belief, but it continues to draw big crowds, particularly in northern Pampanga province.

IN PHOTOS: Filipino Devotees Nailed To Crosses In Good Friday Rites

According to the city government’s website, the yearly reenactment of Christ’s crucifixion here originated in 1955 with the staging of “Via Crucis” or Way of the Cross.

It was first performed during the “Maleldo” or Holy Week 57 years ago by amateur volunteer artists of San Pedro Cutud.

IN PHOTOS: Filipino Devotees Nailed To Crosses In Good Friday Rites

The city government said it was only in 1962 that San Fernando Cutud first witnessed an actual crucifixion during the play.

The Christ was then portrayed by Artemio Anoza, a resident of nearby Apalit town and a quack doctor who dreamt that he would become a religious leader and full-fledge healer, the city government said on its website. – © Photos by Jonathan Asuncion