Fancy getting nailed in the Philippines? I am sure this question has been asked (and, indeed answered) on more than one occasion, with context being particularly important.
For the last four years I have guided a tour to the San Pedro Cutud Lenten Rites Festival, a yearly reenactment of the Passion of the Christ. It starts with a bunch of Jesus groupies self-flagellating (whipping themselves, basically) before some of them literally get nailed to fucking crosses. That’s right: they get crucified for fun.
The day starts at 5:30am in the hooker capital of Manila, Ermita, where we board our bus to take the two-hour journey to San Pedro. Apparently there are other places people like to get nailed, but San Pedro is the Barcelona of crucifixions. Accept no substitutes.
On arrival we pick up our media passes (this blog constitutes proof that we need media passes) and then spend the next few hours watching people whip themselves bloody. Don’t wear white.
You’d think that this would be quite a solemn affair, but the whole atmosphere is more like a county fair. Pop-up restaurants, local sponsors, souvenir T-shirts and replica whips abound. S&M, alas, isn’t my personal bag.
Next to the VIP area is a medical tent set aside for the Jesus groupies to receive attention following their crucifixion shenanigans. As the government points out every year, it’s important to have a safe crucifixion.
The event itself is broadcast on a big screen, and from the media area you can hear the people scream as nails get slammed into them. There’s one guy that does this every year, who has risen to prominence as a fairly famous Jesus. In 2018 the rise of the #MeToo movement saw women prominently included, and for the first time a woman was allowed to get nailed (gig). Next they’ll be wanting the vote.
After four years of attending the Cutud Lenten Rites, it gets a massive thumbs-up from me as firm fun suitable for the whole family!
Do: respect the devotion of these people who are willing to demonstrate their Christian love by being crucified.
Don’t: loudly shout “he’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy”.
Oh: don’t forget to jump on a cross for a selfie. This gives the tabloid the ability to write the same shitty story about tourists every year.