PAOMBONG, Bulacan — Under the heat of the sun on Good Friday, two faith healers, including a female, were nailed to a wooden cross at a man-made Golgotha just beside a Catholic Chapel in Bgy. Kapitangan of this town.
A rare old Lenten tradition here continues to attract multitudes of faithfuls as well as local and foreign tourists.
First to be crucified infront of thousands of people, local and foreign tourists was Timoteo “Tammy” Mondragon, 33 years old, of Bagong Silang, Caloocan City. It was the first “crucifixion” for Mondragon according to his relatives. He hung from a wooden cross for 5 minutes after he was nailed.
Next was Rogelio Marcos, of Barangay Sto. Rosario, Paombong, but while carrying a wooden cross to the ritual site, a spiritual leader persuaded him not to proceed after he reportedly saw a bad omen. It would have been Marcos’s 13th time to be crucified.
At exactly 12 noon, faith healer “Ka Precy”, 50, was nailed for the 7th consecutive time. She stayed for about 15 minutes nailed to the cross.
“She has crucified during Lenten rites in this man-made Golgotha of Paombong as her one way of repentance and sharing the sufferings of Christ,” Ka Precy said before her crucifixion.
The faith healers were nailed at the wooden crosses as the multitudes sang the Tagalog version of “The Lord’s Prayer” or “Ama Namin.”
They said they know that the Catholic Church does not sanction the bloody reenactment of the Passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, but they could not ignore their missions and visions–they should complete their “Panata” before they stop.
Earlier, thousand of foreign and local visitors while waiting for the crucifixions to start under the hot tropical sun, lined up in the streets watching the bloody Lenten ritual of hundreds bareback flagellants whipped their bloody backs with thorny objects. People watching covered their faces as blood from the whip sprayed on to their clothes.
The barefoot penitents walk through the streets whipping themselves with sharp wooden sticks tied to their arms as they take part in the rituals to atone for their sins, thanks for the blessings they received, while some asking for a better life.
Meanwhile, Liz Mungcal, of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said that public assistance centers were all set in other crowd-drawing areas in the province.
“The provincial government of Bulacan headed by Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado has deployed ambulances with paramedics and emergency response teams to assists motorists and tourists,” Mungcal added. (RONDA Balita Online News)