In the most extreme display of penance, a handful of devout Roman Catholics in the northern Philippines went through an agonizing Good Friday crucifixion re-enactment that has become a gruesome and increasingly controversial annual ritual.
Neighbours costumed like Roman centurions dragged penitents through the village streets of San Pedro Cutud and toward a barren hill where three wooden crosses and a large crowd of at least 2,000 tourists awaited.
Eighteen-centimeter metal nails were driven into both palms and feet as they lay spread-eagled over the crosses, which were then raised for about five minutes before being hauled down again and the nails pulled out.
The process was repeated for a total of nearly 20 volunteers.
Many more whipped their own backs until they ran blood.
The Roman Catholic Church frowns on such extreme practices and the Filipino health department had warned penitents to take anti-tetanus shots first and to sterilise their equipment.
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