By Franco Regala
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — At least 12 penitents were crucified on Good Friday in five barangays in the province.
Many of those nailed to wooden crosses were in Barangay Cutud, prominent for its bloody crucifixion rites; while the others were crucified in Barangays Sta. Lucia, San Juan, Calulut and San Nicolas, the newest participating site.
Hundreds of flagellants also paraded the streets carrying wooden crosses or whipping their backs with bamboo sticks, as they head to the crucifixion site in Cutud.
Ruben Enaje, a painter, reenacted “Kristo” for the 33rd time in the said barangay.
The scorching sun did not dampen the spirits of devotees who flock to the sites to witness the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.
City Tourism Officer Ching Pangilinan said that some 20,000 local and foreign tourists have witnessed the annual tradition in the city.
Robbie Hizon, committe executive chair for Maleldo 2019 said the capital city has been observing Maleldo for more than six decades with the Via Crucis which began on 1955, followed by an actual crucifixion in 1962.
“Maleldo is not a tourist attraction like Boracay, nor a show that is aimed at entertaining the audience. This is a solemn tradition for Fernandinos wherein we remember the passion and death of Christ,” he said.