Bloody Good Friday in Angeles, the Philippines

It could seem to any of us that Easter should be celebrated by Catholics in the same way anywhere in the world. Well, it’s definitely not. You do not have to search far to spot some differences. Go to Spain to see at least one of the Holy Week’s processions and you will experience a completely different Easter atmosphere. We did this 2 years ago, but this year we wanted to spend Easter in the Philippines, where you can observe local people during specific celebrations performed on a large scale too. On Good Friday Catholics anywhere in the world commemorate the death of Jesus Christ – that’s the fact. In Poland we have the Liturgy of Word and then – adoration of the cross, whereas in the Philippines (especially in Luzón Island) many men participate in a procession/parade, during which they whip themselves and stop along the way visiting chapels one by one until finally they fall to the ground at the last one with their arms stretched out and whole body forming the cross; then after 1pm a crowd of people is waiting for the performance of the scene of the Passion of Christ (an actor playing a role of Jesus and the other two convicts are literally nailed to the cross, and after the “event” they are taken to hospital). So in a nutshell, this is what we saw in Angeles City, where we decided to stay for 2 nights. Initially, we had wanted to go to San Fernando, where in the nearby ​​Cutud there is a big ”spectacle” taking place including scenes of whipping and crucifixion every year, but we finally chose Angeles to experience it more locally. You’ve probably heard lots of stories about people coming to the event groaning and yowling during the crucifixion performance which is described as the most profound experience for them during Easter time (BTW forbidden by the Catholic Church). We have a slightly different impression from the mentioned performance in Angeles. Sharing our experience with you here below.

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