Most Filipinos observe the Holy Week to repent and reflect upon our sins and transgressions. Some people take it to the extreme by flirting with danger or perhaps some may have a masochistic love affair of self-inflicting physical pain to wipe away all our sins.

We call it "penitensya" and it may take different forms like not eating for the whole day to getting crucified literally like what Jesus did a thousand years ago! In fact, many people have been practicing this archaic medieval penitence as a way of resolving all sins. Unfortunately, some take it seriously only on Holy Week but maintaining a sinful life all year.

Many of these practices are relics of medieval Christianity where times were difficult and uncertain. It's just interesting to know that these penitential practices have remained unchanged after all these years. If you'll ask me, whipping yourself to bleed or getting nailed into a cross in a hot, humid summer day is very excruciating. People need not follow what Jesus endured to prove a point.

Flagellation is what most people do because one will only need to whip one's back to make sure it bleed well enough to inflict physical pain. In a searing summer head, a person will have bloodied back at the end of the day. Losing blood is not a big concern but heat stroke is.

There is a popular place in Pampanga called Cutud where many men have been crucified as their choice of penitence. There was even an instance where a woman was said to be crucified while a British national also flirted with the idea of having himself crucified but backed out to the last minute. Right now, this even has become a media spectacle, "freak show," and tourist destination rolled into one.

Some women have their penitence by praying outside the church kneeling all the way to the altar. It may sound easy but the pain is excruciating as the knees are exposed from the hard ground and the heat from it. If you have arthritis then it is a bad idea to do it. Better stick to the stations of the cross.

If you are on a diet then why not abstain from eating for the whole day in Good Friday. Just make sure you drink a lot of fluids because the hot day will take a toll on you.

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{picture#} JP Canonigo is a historian, professional blogger and copywriter, online content specialist, copywriter, video game junkie, sports fanatic and jack-of-all trades. {facebook#} {twitter#} {google#}
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