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Filipino Man Nailed to the Cross for 28th Time in San Pedro Cutud Villiage

By Rico Dizon

How on earth can you understand why a fellow human would like to be nailed to the cross just like Jesus Christ?

Believe it or not, this man from a small poor village called “San Pedro Cutud” town of San Fernando, province of Pampanga in the Philippines, is willing to be crucified for the 28th time on a hill on Good Friday as reported by Jocelyn R. Uy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Described by neighbors as a quiet man who always wanted to help, Enaje started to do this bloody and painful ritual after surviving a fall from the third floor of the building in Tarlac City in the same province while performing his job as a sign maker.
“This is my expression of faith. “God has been merciful to us, we did not get hungry and He kept us healthy. “I can still work and earn a living. “I have no doubt in the power of God and I want to thank him and seek more blessings,” said Enaje. He sustained the painful practice begun 58 years ago by an itinerant faith healer.
Originally, he made a vow in 1986 to do this for nine years every Good Friday. However, he extended it for another 9 years after his daughter was cured of her asthma, then another 9 years for her wife who got healed from a lump on her jaw. This year, he agreed to do it one more time because as he explained in local dialect, “Ala pang manalili canacu,” (“there is still no one to replace me.”) His wife Juanita soaked the four stainless nails in alcohol for one year. Her husband confessed of the excruciating pain especially when medics pulled the nails from his hands and feet and nursed him. He said it takes a month or two for his wounds to heal.
Although there are others who are willing to replace him, they did not meet the high standard that the village leader and his council have set forth: “must be a good role model free of vices.” The other men just the same voluntarily offered to either be flagellants(striking their backs with 24 bamboo sticks tied to a rope) or get crucified. This town of San Fernando is famous for having many people perform bloody rituals during Holy Week.
Such a practice continues despite opposition from the leaders of the Catholic Church. Archbishop Socrates Villegas, head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) just recently issued a reminder, “Be on guard against spiritual vanity. “The act only becomes pleasing to God when one is capable of increasing his love for his neighbor. “When you do bloody rituals just to be photographed and become popular that is spiritual vanity.” Archbishop of San Fernando Paciano Aniceto discourages bloody rites, “it is enough that we reconcile with God thru confessions, prayers, community service and doing acts of charity.”