CRUCIFIXION IN PAMPANGA

Ils sont fous ces romains
They are crazy, those Pinoy

Eastern is celebrated on the Philippines with a special addition: the crucifixion of Jesus is reenacted.
There is hardly anything as fulfilling as a good suffering, especially if it’s someone else’s suffering. For this play however, unfortunately, there is only one leading act (apart from two sidekicks, the script is somewhat tight), leaving everybody else to being Romans.
It’s almost noon, and it’s very hot. To be on schedule, contemporary Jesus is quickly sentenced at a little play on a little stage. The sound system and loud speakers amplifying the verdict are bombastic, the verdict itself predictable.
It’s very hot. Contemporary Jesus and his side kicks are off, so are various gangs of chastising hooded men. The crucifixion venue is about a kilometer pilgrimage from the sentencing act along the main road, and true to Catholic values some business is made along the way. People enjoy ice cream and soft drinks while the general poor enjoy a higher than usual catch of empty plastic bottles and scrap paper.
It’s very hot. The procession eventually arrives at the main gig. Nails are hammered through hands and the crosses erected.
It’s very hot, and the crowd is seeking shade under umbrellas. One has to marvel at contemporary Jesus’ tattoos and wonder why this means of advertising has not been exploited: ‘Jesus ™, crucified at a Jollibee near you’.
It’s very hot. The guys are brought down from their crosses. They seem to be affected somewhat by the heat and are being loaded into ambulances, making this a really authentic looking part of the play. Not the typical Philippine happy end.

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