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Penitencia: Penance through Flagellation in Holy Week
One of those rare times when I spent the Holy Week in my hometown instead of running around somewhere in another place, I went home on Holy Thursday due to having stayed till dawn in the office monitoring an activity.
I initially wanted to go to Kalayaan town to take pictures of those people whipping themselves in public but instead I found them near the church, saving me the hassle of travelling to the next town.
warning: Do not open if you can't stand the sight of blood!
Talk about bloody mess with blood, sweat and dust; a "wholesome" sight for sado-masochistic delight!
Note: the Catholic Church does not teach penance through flagellation, crucifixion or any form of corporal punishment to self to atone for one's sins.
Watching these guys do this every Good Friday makes me wonder about the origins of the practice. Muslims flagellate too and this country was very Islamic until the Spanish conversion. One of my friends has lived in every country in Latin and S America. I'll ask if he saw any flagellation in those places. If so, perhaps it was a Spanish invention.
That is totally gory! I've never seen flagellants wearing shirts before. But their whipping is so hard, their shirts are all torn up. Oo nga... this is not taught by the church. Our religiosity could be very folkloric and animistic sometimes.
I see a lot of flagellants whenever I go down to the lowlands during Holy Week. It works for some people, but not me! I can't stand the sight of blood. Especially those that take it to the next level and "crucify" themselves.
The Shiite Muslims also have their own form of flagellation but in a rather militant fashion. It's done to commemorate the life of their historical leader Immam Hussain. It can be scary sight when sword wielding men form a procession and flagellate themselves like they want to be martyred in a battle :(