Saturday, March 22, 2008


On Good Friday, every street in the Philippines shall be covered by christians who walk barefooted on a midday sun and beat their backs with wooden and metal whips, (some filled with thorns). Some devotees carry heavy wooden crosses and literally drags 'em on the road. This tradition is called "Penitensiya" where fanatical Christians inflict self-punishments to commemorate the hardships and the pains that Jesus went through when He carried the cross and eventually crucified.

This practice is a way for devotees to ask forgiveness for the sins they have committed.

I remember to have told this Holy Week tradition to a foreigner friend of mine and he asked me whether if I believe that such self-punishment could save and wash away the sins of these participants.

I honestly replied to him that it is all about faith and sincerity. We Christians believe that only God knows what our innermost intentions are. If his asking forgiveness is heartfelt and that he used self-punishent thru "Penitensiya" as a tool in showing his sincerity to the Lord, then I might agree with his belief.

What do you think?


  1. Hi Norman! Happy Easter!
    Thanks for your comments at Blogtrotter, where I finished my Greek Islands 2006 adventure with a post on Cretan Towns! Since it's Easter time, also made a post with some lousy pictures on Easter in Prague (1997) at Revival 90s.
    Enjoy Easter Eggs (don't abuse :))and have a great weekend!

  2. Easter wishes to you, Dear Lawstude..!
    the pictures haunt me....

  3. Happy Easter po!

    Hehe :) At least kahit hindi ganyan kagrabe ang penitensya ko this Holy week ay katanggap tanggap na rin...

  4. i agree with you. kung sincere yung gumagawa nung rite/ tradition, okay lang.. usually naman panata na rin kasi nila yan.

    Happy easter. :)

  5. I believe that as long as we are aware of our sins and repent for the mistakes done God will forgive us. And yes, sincerity and faith are the vital points when it comes to religion b/c we all have our own belief systems.


    Happy Easter Kuya!

  6. Dear friend, thank you for your visit and your words ! Has a beautiful job.
    Happy Easter

  7. More than hurting ourselves, I believe God takes notice more if we do the corporal works of mercy.

    Happy Easter Lawstude!

  8. Isn't it that our body is at temple? If we hurt our body then I think we are disrespecting the temple that God gave us.

  9. I do not agree. Even if they whip themelves with barb wire if what they do is just pakitang-tao, then I believe the Lord will punish them more.

    Besides, Lord doesn't want us to hurt our body because our body id hid temple.

  10. bakit ang fasting?

    sinasaktan mo rin yung sarili mo dun ah, bakit nakasulat sa bibleya yun...

    he he he

    kanya kanya lang style yan...besides... yang pinetensya tuwing mahal na araw eh kultura na yan, why object?

    dapat yung pinipigal ng tao eh yung paglaganap ng kasamaan tulad ng pagtawid sa kalye ng walang kapararakan o kaya pag tanggap ng suhol...hayaan nyo na yung gusto mag pinetensya, wala naman talagang confirmation kung nakikita tayong lahat ng dyos eh, (pero malalamng kaya nyang review-hin yung mga events kasi all powerful naman sya e...he he he)

  11. Thanks everyone for your comments and views. Hope you had a memorable and reflective lenten season!!!

  12. "tradition" penance is not done by hurting your self neither forgiveness can be attained by nailing yourself in cross, Jesus Christ is one and only kind and His sacrifices cannot be matched by anyone.

    i witnessed last year this kind of tradition then "wala lang"

    though i has nothing against these people, it is their way so leave them alone. i hope their is sincerity in every pain that they suffer, not just a mere "TRADITION"

  13. saw this 2years ago in Pampanga. when its Holy week, you can almost see it anywhere in the city.

  14. These pics got to me... I don't know. I guess I feel that He died on the cross so that we don't have to endure this type of self-punishment. If we are sincere, and ask forgiveness, then our actions will show it. Not that we have to be perfect, but to keep trying to do the things that makes Him happy. It is hard for me to think that God wants us to endure this. He already died on the cross... and those rose again. Well, those are my thoughts anyway!!

  15. Great pics although I say ouch.. :(

    Is this suffering really necessary? Whatever happened to the creator's unconditional love for his flock?

  16. Hi, Lawstude!
    Nice photos of the penitensiya...
    Ako, I was doing my penitensiya at the La Mesa Eco Park :D