MANILA, April 3 – For the sixteenth straight year a 32-year old Filipino penitent was nailed to the cross on Good Friday in a village in Bulacan province some 65 kilometers north of Manila to fulfill his yearly Lenten vow.
Alexie “Buboy” Dionisio while being nailed to the cross under a scorching sun, blurted out that it was his last time to reenact the crucifixion before thousands of curious local and foreign tourists who trooped to the town of Paombong to witness the ritual.
Twenty-two other penitents were crucified in the adjoining province of Pampanga on Good Friday.
A man-made “Golgotha” was constructed beside a Catholic chapel for the yearly ritual held during the Holy Week.
Dionisio started his annual bloody Lenten ritual when he was 16.
A group of men dressed Roman Centurion uniforms drove alcohol-soaked nails on Dionisio’s palms and feet shortly before noon on Good Friday.
“This will be my last crucifixion that’s why I am asking you all to unite and love each other in order for us to attain a lasting peace,” Dionisio said.
In his final reenactment of the passion and crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ, Dionisio, a faith healer, carried a wooden cross as local actors playing the roles of “Roman Centurions” kicked and whipped him.
The Catholic hierarchy in the Philippines has not sanctioned the bloody Lenten reenactment, but penitents continued to ignore it.