While Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, rather than Christmas, should be the most important holiday of the Christian year, overzealous Filipinos have made a tradition of taking it too far.
In the small village of Cutud in Angeles City in Pampanga, about 80 km (50 miles) north of Manila, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was re-enacted in a colorful street play with dozens of men carrying wooden crosses as heavy as 50 kg (110 pounds) and scores whipping their backs to a bloody pulp.
After walking barefoot for more than a kilometer around the village in scorching heat, the drama ended at a man-made hill where 11 men were nailed to crosses with three-inch nails driven into their hands and feet.
The glory of the cross is that Jesus — God — already endured this torture. So that we don’t have to.