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San Pedro Cutud: Via Crucis

Marga Deona

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San Pedro Cutud: Via Crucis
The Good Friday rites at San Pedro Cutud culminate with the most brutal re-enactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ

SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – A group of actors prepare for the cenaculo, or religious play, highlighting the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. They walk towards the hilltop after the last San Pedro Cutud flagellant is done.

The cenaculo is called Via Crucis, and it starts at high noon. It opens with a man portraying Pontius Pilate riding a pony along with others dressed as Roman soldiers. They push and shove the hapless Jesus Christ up the hill – an appropriation of the biblical story that ends with the crucifixion.

With tourists and local onlookers alike flocking to the foot of the hill while armed with their smartphones, cameras, and drones, with the anachronistic telco tents and streamers dotting the venue, Via Crucis at Cutud is where the parochial meets the urbane. It is also where excruciating pain is seen as a most accurate re-enactment of the Son of God’s love and sacrifice for mankind, as iron nails are driven straight into Kristo’s palms under the scorching Friday sun. –

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Marga Deona

Marga leads digital and product management for Rappler’s multimedia expansion. Sometimes, she writes about the intersection of technology, culture, and business, as well as the occasional sports and music features.