A man in the Philippines nailed to a cross

Ruben Enaje nailed to the cross to pray for peace. Credit: Lia Forbes

A man from the Philippines was nailed to a wooden cross for the 35th time on Good Friday.

This is part of a tradition where people re-enact the suffering of Jesus Christ. The man, Ruben Enaje, did this to pray for peace in places like Ukraine, Gaza, and the South China Sea.

Over a hundred people watched as 10 devotees, including Enaje, were nailed to crosses. This yearly event happens in three rural communities in Pampanga province, north of Manila, and attracts tourists.

Last year, the ritual resumed after a pause due to the pandemic. Enaje, a 63-year-old carpenter, has become famous in his village for playing the role of Jesus in the re-enactment.

Enaje could not refuse

Before the crucifixions, Enaje said he had thought about stopping because of his age. But he couldn’t refuse requests from villagers to pray for sick relatives and others in need.

Enaje also prays for those affected by natural disasters, like flooding and earthquakes in southern Philippine provinces.

The tradition started for Enaje in the 1980s after he survived a fall from a building. He saw it as a miracle and began the crucifixion ritual as a form of thanks. During the ritual, Enaje and others carry heavy crosses and are nailed to them.

While church leaders disapprove of these extreme acts of devotion, the tradition persists, with many believing it helps them atone for sins and pray for miracles.

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Written by

Julian Phillips

Born in the UK, has lived in 9 countries, before finally coming to Spain in 2015. Currently living in Almeria and working out of the EWN office in Mojacar.