Philippines 2011: Good Friday in San Fernando, San Pedro Cutud Lenten Rites (crucifixion reenactment)

Date: 22nd April 2011

Good Friday — today was the big day. I promptly got up on time, had breakfast and was out of the hotel by 8am. I walked to the jeepney terminal and got into one that would first go to Dau and then to San Fernando. The ride to Dau took just 5 minutes, and from there, I was asked to get into another jeepney going to San Fernando city, the capital of Pampanga province.

The ride to San Fernando took around 30 minutes and cost ₱32 ($0.75/€0.52). As soon as I reached the San Fernando city center…

San Fernando good friday locals Pampanga

... the 'rituals' had begun

San Fernando Good Friday flagellate Philippines streets

Locals flagellating themselves are referred to as the 'mamalaspas' in Filipino

I didn’t know where the jeepney was headed or where it was going to finally stop, but I didn’t wait to find out. As the jeepney slowed down in traffic, I got down.

San Fernando Good Friday celebrations Pampanga

Despite the blood, this was an all family affair

WARNING: From here on, you are going to see a lot of photographs of people with bloodied-backs. The act of self-flagellation (usually whipping oneself or beating methodically) is a common practice in many religions. In the following context, the act is seen as means of repenting for one’s sins. You may think they are beating themselves to a bloodied state but in reality, they make small cuts on their backs with a blade. They then use those whips with wooden bristles at the end to whip themselves, quite gently ctually. The bristles get stained by blood and eventually spread out out the blood across their backs. But rarely is one profusely bleeding because of the cuts.

San Fernando Good Friday mamalaspas Pampanga

Metropolitan San Fernando cathedral dome Pampanga Philippines

Everybody was headed towards the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando

Metropolitan cathedral of San Fernando  mamalaspas gathering pampanga

They all convene in front of the church. (By the way, it was scorching hot today!)

San Fernando cathedral wooden cross panorama

The flagellants stop in front of the cross, kneel before it or lay flat on the ground

San Fernando flagellation good Friday ritual Philippines

The act of flagellation here is out of devout worship, or so they claim

San Fernando mamalaspas flagellation Philippines

Despite the bloody appearance, they really don't hit themselves that hard

San Fernando mamalaspas woman flagellating Philippines

San Fernando mamalaspas on ground kicked Philippines

They are even lightly kicked

San Fernando mamalaspas on ground Philippines

San Fernando church flagellation good friday Pampanga

As one group of devotees would leave, more would come through the gates

San Fernando good friday mamusankrus cross bearers Philippines

Often led by cross-bearers, called 'mamusan krus'

San Fernando church flagellation good friday Philippines

I can't imagine how their bare backs must have felt in this heat

San Fernando mamalaspas on ground Pampanga PhilippinesSan Fernando cathedral cross flagellation Philippines

Inside Metropolitan Cathedral San Fernando Pampanga Philippines

While devout Catholics bled outside, the more restraint were praying inside

Metropolitan Cathedral Good Friday San Fernando Pampanga San Fernando Good Friday penance kneeling before crossMetropolitan Cathedral San Fernando chariot Pampanga

San Fernando good friday penance tourist camera

This was a photography opportunity like no other

Metropolitan Cathedral San Fernando Pampanga photographer

There were many others just like me who came to capture today's peculiar festivities (Shot on the 450D*)

San Fernando good friday ceremony photographer Philippines

To us, this was more an 'interesting' event than a religious one

San Fernando good friday penance flat on groundSan Fernando good friday penance feet Philippines

Filipinos easter procession INRI cross

(Shot on 450D*)

San Fernando good friday cross bearers Pampanga Philippines

Heart shaped bloodied back Filipino good friday Philippines

Not sure the formation of a heart shape is intentional or not

San Fernando children watching Pampanga PhilippinesIt was so hot that I was done with the bottle of water I was carrying in a matter of minutes. There were hawkers and vendors selling ice cream, water bottles and chilled coconut water. I had one glass of that, and then another. Five minutes later, another glass. Dehydration was a major issue in this heat!

San Fernando good friday flagellated back Philippines

San Fernando good friday nuns hit with slippers Pampanga Philippines

These nuns were a lot less tepid with their act of penance

San Fernando good friday flagellation boy watching PhilippinesSan Fernando good friday flagellate cross Philippines

San Fernando good friday flagellation group Philippines

More and more flagellants just kept coming

San Fernando good friday penance praying before cross

San Fernando good friday praying man Philippines

Not sure if they were covering their faces more so that people will not know they took part in this act

Good Friday flagellated heartshaped back Philippines

Bloody, yes, but none of them were screaming in pain

San Fernando good friday flagellate flesh PhilippinesSan Fernando good friday ceremony Pampanga church
San Fernando good friday flagellate photo cameraGood Friday locals kneeling Pampanga PhilippinesSan Fernando good friday flagellation kneeling before cross
San Fernando good friday flagellation kneeling towards cross
San Fernando good friday flagellation photography PhilippinesSan Fernando good friday praying before cross

San Fernando city Pampanga Philippines

After spending more than an hour at the cathedral, I felt it was time for me to move on

I drank another glass of coconut water, bought a bottle of water and left the cathedral.

San Fernando good friday celebration Pampanga Philippines

Pampanga lodge San Fernando Philippines

This was the only 'hotel' I could find in the area (Shot on 450D*)

Metropolitan Cathedral San Fernando Pampanga Philippines

It was right next to the cathedral

San Fernando city marshy stream Pampanga PhilippinesThe Manila Times old building San Fernando Pampanga

Taxis to barangay San Pedro Cutud Pampanga Philippines

There were taxis, both jeepneys and pedal taxis to take people to San Pedro Cutud, where the site of the crucifixion re-enactment would be taking place. I decided to take a cycle taxi.

Tricycle taxi San Pedro Cutud Pampanga Philippines

Shot the following using my Canon 450D*

Road to San Pedro Cutud San Fernando Pampanga

Flagellants San Pedro Cutud Pampanga Good Friday

Flagellants from barangays (villages) walking towards the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando

Tricycle taxi to San Pedro Cutud Pampanga Philippines

It was a short ride that took around 5 minutes

San Pedro Cutud village alley Pampanga Philippines

The taxi driver dropped me here and told me I had go through this alley to get to the main road leading to the site

Road to San Pedro Cutud reenactment site Pampanga

This led to the site of the passion play

San Pedro Cutud village decoration good Friday Pampanga

Horse Good Friday reenactment Pampanga

Today's show would feature horses too I presume

San Pedro Cutud Filipino roman soldier Pampanga Philippines

"One photo? One bottle!"

Getting to San Pedro Cutud crucifixion grounds Pampanga

Took around 10 minutes of walking to get to the crucifixion grounds (Shot on 450D*)

San Pedro Cutud reenactment grounds Pampanga

The crowds weren't huge yet, which was good as I wanted to come early and find a good spot for myself

San Pedro Cutud Lenten Rites firetrucks Pampanga

San Pedro Cutud passion play three crosses Philippines

The crosses for today's crucifixion

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion crosses Pampanga Philippines

Jesus, or rather the one who playing him today, gets nailed to the cross in the middle

San Pedro Cutud passion play media camera crew

I could see a media platform and I wondered if there was a chance for me to get on there with all the equipment I was carrying

I walked up to the media registration counter and told them I was from India and I run my own website. I was wearing my “It’s Football, Not Soccer” t-shirt and pointed to the back to show him my url (which was printed on the back). I also showed him the equipment I was carrying, and that was it — I got the pass to go on the media platform! :-)

San Pedro Cutud Lenten Rites media platform Pampanga

I came hoping to secure a good spot and I end up getting a great spot! (450D*)

San Pedro Cutud good friday view from media platform

The view from here was perfect!

San Pedro Cutud good friday flagellants whipped

Flagellants walk in this heat barefoot, and then get whipped? The torture!

San Pedro Cutud reenactment site crowds panorama

The locals unfortunately had to watch it from there (Panorama comprised of 8 shots)

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion ceremony media crane

To say this isn't a major media event here in the Philippines would be an understatement

San Pedro Cutud lenten rites GMA news crew

The GMA news crew

San Pedro Cutud good friday crucifixion professional photographers

There were photographers representing reputed press agencies like the Associated Press

San Pedro Cutud good Friday crucifixion tall camera tripod

They all had some serious gear

Not to feel left out, I set up my tripod, raised it to its highest and mounted the 70-200mm lens on my 7D. Trouble is, it was even more scorching hot here! My sunglasses and sunscreen weren’t enough for the burning heat. Many had umbrellas and I felt I should have carried mine as well. I hadn’t experienced such piercing heat since my years in Bahrain.

San Pedro Cutud good friday flagellant fainted Philippines

Some of the flagellants passed out in the heat and had to be taken away by medics in stretchers (450D*)

San Pedro Cutud good friday people under media platform

It was so hot, people took refuge under the stage. But not for long. Security came by and asked them to please come out. Probably because the authorities didn't want to be held responsible if the stage collapsed on them (450D*)

All of a sudden…

San Pedro Cutud Lenten Rites tornado Philippines

... a mini-tornado formed and began swirling around in the grounds (450D*)

San Pedro Cutud tornado hawker stalls Pampanga

It eventually dispersed but not before taking out a stall's canopy (450D*)

San Pedro Cutud Lenten rites Filipino standing on log
San Pedro cutud good Friday flagellants crucifixion crosses

Back on the hilly mound, the flagellants kept on coming (450D*)

I stood on the platform at around 11:30pm, and everyone here was getting restless in the heat, wondering when the ‘show’ would start. A lot of worshipers kept coming, but not ‘Jesus’.

San Pedro Cutud good friday crucifixion reenactment gown

Even this guy in a gown came

San Pedro Cutud Good Friday passion play man carrying white cross

This dude came carrying a white cross

San Pedro Cutud good friday man passed out

Unfortunately, he too passed out due to the heat

San Pedro Cutud lenten rites Filipino fainted

He also had to be taken on a stretcher

San Pedro Cutud lenten rites crowd tents

Where medics were on hand

Finally, just past 1:45pm…

San Pedro Cutud lenten rites crucifixion starting

The passion play was about to begin (450D*)

San Pedro Cutud passion play Chariot Philippines

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion passion play actors

Mother Mary and her entourage made their way

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion reenactment Pampanga

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion Jesus Roman soldiers Pampanga

Jesus escorted by Roman soldiers for his impending crucifixion

San Pedro Cutud passion play Pampanga Philippines

The actors make their way to the crosses

San Pedro cutud crucifixion play jesus pushed around

The (Filipino) Roman soldiers push (Filipino) Jesus around

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion play Jesus rolling ground

Jesus gets kicked to the ground

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion play jesus on ground San Pedro Cutud crucifixion play Jesus roman soldier

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion play Roman soldiers Jesus Philippines

Time for the crucifixion

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion play laying Jesus on cross

They lower the cross

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion play roman soldiers horse

Hey, that's the guy who asked for a bottle in exchange for a photograph from earlier :)

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion play actors Philippines

They deliver a few lines (Few of the actors like the woman playing Mother Mary had mics)

San Pedro Cutud lenten rites crucifixion reenactment raising cross Philippines

They raise two other penitents

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion actors passion play Pampanga Philippines

Good Friday Crucifixion reenactment cross Philippines

Though these guys weren't nailed to the cross

Good friday crucifixion Jesus cross Pampanga Philippines

Filipino Jesus getting ready

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion nailing Jesus on cross Pampanga

Checks the nails

Easter celebrations crucifixion reenactment Romans nailing Jesus hands Philippines

Crucifixion reenactment nailing Jesus hands on cross Philippines

There goes in the first one!

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion passion play nailing Jesus hand

And here comes the second one

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion nailing Jesus hands on cross

Filipino Jesus didn't have a mic on him, but you could still hear him scream from where I was standing (and some in the crowd jeered and laughed)

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion raising Jesus Philippines

"You raise me up...."

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion Jesus cross raised Pampanga

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion jesus closeup Pampanga

In case you had any doubts on whether they actually did nail his palms

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion nailing jesus feet Pampanga

If you thought it was over, no. They nail his feet as well.

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion nails Jesus feet

Though I wondered if they just nailed in between his toes

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion spearing Jesus pampanga

San Pedro Cutud lenten rites crucifixion reenactment Philippines

Some more chants

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion ladder Jesus Pampanga Philippines

After a few minutes, they take out the nails

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion taking nails out of Jesus PhilippinesSan Pedro Cutud lenten rites removing Jesus nails PhilippinesSan Pedro Cutud crucifixion bringing Jesus down

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion over Jesus Philippines

The soldiers bring him down

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion ceremony romans carrying jesus Philippines

San Pedro Cutud lenten rites crucifixion Romans carrying Jesus

Wonder where they were taking 'Jesus'

Good Friday passion play Romans carrying Jesus to medics

Oh that's right, the hospital

At this point, few of the locals were cheering as ‘Jesus’ was taken away by medics. One could tell from the laughter that this passion play has become less of a religious event and more, comical of sorts.

Anyway, just when I thought it was all over, the announcement came on to inform us that there are going to be other penitents crucified on the cross. These people volunteer in the hope that, by doing so, they are forgiven for their sins.

San Pedro Cutud passion play bringing down crosses Pampanga

They bring down the other two volunteers

San Pedro Cutud passion play crucifixion volunteers Pampanga Philippines

The second batch of penitents took their places

San Pedro Cutud passion play crucifixion volunteer Pampanga Philippines

Here they go again

San Pedro Cutud passion play crucifixion hammering nail Pampanga PhilippinesThere was chatter going around me saying these people who volunteer to be crucified are drunk, so they feel less pain.

San Pedro Cutud passion play crucifixion penitent nailed Pampanga Philippines

Looking at some of their faces, who knows, could be true. Though it defeats the purpose if they volunteered to do this in a bid to quit their alcoholism in the first place!

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion raising cross Pampanga Philippines

San Pedro Cutud passion play crucifying volunteer Pampanga

Now for the third penitent

San Pedro Cutud passion play crucifixion hammering nail photographer Pampanga

I don't know if that medic is capturing this in the name of science :)

San Pedro Cutud passion play raising penitents crosses Pampanga

San Pedro Cutud penitents crosses Pampanga Philippines

The put a lot of effort into this event, with the costumes of that era and all that

San Pedro Cutud good friday crucifixion plane flying above

Except for, you know, the occasional airplane flying above (450D*)

San Pedro Cutud plane flying blue sky cloud trail Philippines

Shot with the 70-200mm lens

San Pedro Cutud passion play crucifixion spearing heart Pampanga

Is there something symbolic of spearing one's heart (or torturing one's nipple?)

San Pedro Cutud passion play crucifixion guards penitent Pampanga Philippines

I left the media stage and move to the side of the grounds. Plus, the media platform became 'everybody's platform' after the villagers ran on-stage.

San Pedro Cutud passion play crucifixion play actors Pampanga San Pedro Cutud passion play crucifixion crosses PampangaSan Pedro Cutud passion play crucifixion play crosses Pampanga

San Pedro Cutud passion play crucifixion penitents Pampanga

There were more penitents in queue

By the point, the locals had infiltrated the grounds and were inching their way closer to the crosses to try and get a closer look.

San Pedro Cutud passion play crucifixion locals running towards penitents Pampanga

San Pedro Cutud passion play crucifixion guards warning locals Pampanga

The 'Romans' tried to stop them

San Pedro Cutud good Friday crucifixion crowds near cross

But eventually...

I bumped into the American girl whom I had met on the journey from Baguio to Sagada two days ago. We chatted for a bit and when we saw the people thronging towards the cross, we both assumed the same thing: “Hey, when in Rome…”

Crucifixion reenactment locals crowded Pampanga Philippines

And so we both climbed up to get a closer look

Good Friday Pampanga nailed hand on cross Philippines

Crucifixion reenactment nailed hand on cross Pampanga Philippines

What I really wanted to know is why there isn't any blood and was the nail going all the way through his hand. Gory thoughts, I know, but I was still curious.

Crucifixion reenactment nailed feet on cross Pampanga Philippines

I tried to get a closer look but there were so many people in my way

San Pedro Cutud crucifixion nail in leg Pampanga Philippines

So I held out my cell phone and took a snap. This is what I captured. So I guess they really do nail their legs.

Since the hustle and bustle was getting a bit too much, I just used my phone to record this video as they were about to take the nails out of the penitents:

As you can tell from the above video, the locals found all this just as amusing as I did. (Just so you know, I don’t find blood and gore ‘amusing’ — it was this whole act and how the crowds were reacting to it that I found amusing).

Good Friday Pampanga nailed hand cross from behind

(Taken on the Nokia E72)

In fact this event shouldn’t be taken seriously. These crucifixions aren’t even organized by the church. In fact, the Catholic Church condone it and do not endorse them in anyway.

It was a local theatrical troupe in the 1950s that first reenacted the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It became popular enough to become an annual event. Word spread across the Philippines, and later, the world. It became a media event, and an interesting one, for photographers both amateur and professionals alike.

San Pedro Cutud good friday passion play crucifixion nailed to cross

Safe to assume these guys take this act very seriously?

San Pedro Cutud good friday passion play nailed to cross

Anyway, I had seen enough. It was time for me to leave

Good Friday Pampanga nailed to cross Philippines

Crowds thronging crucifixion site good friday Pampanga

Hawkers were making hay while the heat took its toll on me. All I had the past 3 hours were lots of water and ice cream. I couldn't wait to get back to the city and eat something heavy. (Nokia e72)

Looking around you can see why the City of San Fernando continues to host this event. San Pedro Cutud is an impoverished village with little else to offer tourists (same can be said about San Fernando city too). So Good Friday seems to be the only day in their calendar where locals earn good income selling everything from drinks to food. There are thousands who visit San Fernando just for this.

Flagellating penitents good friday San Pedro Cutud Pampanga

Walking back, the flagellants were still at it

Flagellation locals good friday San Pedro Cutud Pampanga

This was at 3:30pm

Good Friday San Pedro Cutud Pampanga flagellating

San Pedro Cutud road Good Friday traffic Pampanga Philippines

The road was jammed, and I had to squeeze through people, cycles, and cars just to get ahead

San Pedro Cutud barangay hall Pampanga DC logo

DC Comics says Congressman Dong Gonzalves is no hero (You may not get the reference if you don't read comics or recognize that logo)

I managed to get a bicycle taxi further up the road, and I asked him to take me back to the cathedral in San Fernando city.

Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando panorama

It was nearing 4pm

McDonald's Jollibee restaurants San Fernando Pampanga Philippines

As always, there's was a McDs and a Jollibee right next to each other. I chose to go to McDonald's.

The McDonald’s was full of tourists who had just come back from San Pedro Cutud as well. Freshened up, sat in the air conditioning and enjoyed my meal. After the meal, I sat a few minutes longer and reviewed my photographs. Needless to say, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I came, I saw, I captured.

But the day wasn’t over yet. Though many were making the long journey back to Manila, I stayed back in San Fernando because I had only planned on leaving after I photographed the procession at night.

Penitents walking to cathedral San Fernando

I walked back to the cathedral

San Fernando Cathedral priest sermon good friday PampangaWooden float carrozas San Fernando Cathedral

San Fernando good friday jesus float Pampanga

There were many floats (or 'carrozas') that were going to be used in tonight's procession

Fernando III statue church Pampanga Philippines

The man whom this city is named after

Good Friday holding crosses San Fernando Pampanga Good Friday man holding cross San Fernando PampangaGood Friday man carrying cross San Fernando PampangaI just stood outside, hoping the sun would set early and the procession would start some time soon. It was just 5pm, so I knew I had quite a bit of waiting to do.

San Fernando street children smiling Philippines

Boy: "Hey!" (grabs sister)... "take photo mister" ~ Me: *clicks* ~ Boy: "Oh, he's actually taking a photo?" (shy)

San Fernando local boys Pampanga Philippines

After that, these guys asked for photos. I had to click. And no, I'm not going to put them *all* up. Don't know why they ask for photographs but never ask for a copy. Probably think I'm a newspaper photographer.

No to RH bill banner San Fernando church Pampanga

I noticed these 'No to RH bill' banners on many of the churches here and I had to ask my friend Aimee what the bill was. Turns out it is a Reproductive Health Bill proposed by the Government to control population growth by encouraging the use of contraceptives -- but the church is against it! It was just one of many things I would later learn about the thin line separating church and state in Philippines.

Inside Metropolitan Cathedral San Fernando Pampanga

I thought of sitting inside the cathedral for some time

Good Friday procession float San Fernando Philippines

But instead, I went for a stroll

Good friday procession float San Fernando cathedral Philippines

The carrozas were lining up

Agony in the garden corazza San Fernando Pampanga PhilippinesGood friday float San Fernando pampanga PhilippinesSan Fernando city stores closed good friday PampangaSan Fernando meat market Pampanga PhilippinesSan Fernando market evening Pampanga Philippines

San Fernando drunk local Pampanga Philippines

He's high

Good Friday San Fernando old man Pampanga

There were more carrozas brought in from other areas

Good Friday candles for sale San Fernando Pampanga

San Fernando good friday procession Pampanga

Looks like the procession was about to begin

City of San Fernando seal on wall Pampanga PhilippinesSan Fernando market good Friday crowd Pampanga

American Pie 15 dvd cover Philippines

Really, they made 13 shitty sequels?

San Fernando public basketball court PampangaI walked back to the cathedral and saw people walking as the procession had begun. I asked a police officer as to where they were headed and he told me they would be going around and coming back to the cathedral by sunset. I only wanted to take photos of the procession once it had gotten dark, so I sat inside the cathedral until the sun had completely set.

Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando hall Pampanga PhilippinesSitting inside the cathedral under the fans made me feel sleepy. I guess all that scorching heat and the early morning wake up was getting to me.

Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando dome Philippines

The dome

After half an hour, I looked outside and by 6:30pm, the sun had set. So I left the cathedral.

San Fernando chariot horse Pampanga Philippines

Chicken grilled street food San Fernando Pampanga

There's a lot of grilled chicken on the streets of Philippines

San Fernando Elementary school road evening Pampanga

I waited for the procession to make its way down this road

Good Friday evening procession Pampanga Philippines Good Friday procession San Fernando Pampanga Philippines

Catholic figurine carrozas Good Friday procession Philippines

The carrozas were lit up, which made them even more beautiful

Beautiful carrozas good friday procession San Fernando Pampanga Philippines Carrozas good friday procession San Fernando Pampanga PhilippinesBoat carroza good friday procession PhilippinesJesus carrozas good friday procession PhilippinesGood Friday carrozas march Pampanga Philippines

Good Friday night procession Pampanga Philippines

Definitely more than a thousand people were taking part in this procession

Santa Maria Veronica carrozas Pampanga Philippines Good friday carroza night procession San Fernando Pampanga PhilippinesSanto Entierro carroza good friday march san fernando Pampanga PhilippinesCatholic figure carrozas good friday procession PhilippinesCatholic carrozas good friday march San Fernando Pampanga PhilippinesGood Friday carrozas Pampanga PhilippinesGood friday carrozas procession San Fernando Pampanga PhilippinesSaint Maria carrozas Good Friday procession PhilippinesSan Juan Evangalista carroza friday procession Pampanga Philippines
San Juan Evangalista carrozas friday procession Pampanga PhilippinesSan Fernando good friday night procession PampangaGood friday procession woman holding candle San Fernando

San Fernando good friday procession night Pampanga

I took one final parting shot as the procession group continued its way into the city

And with that, I was done! Phew, what a day!

I walked by myself down the quiet road and tried to catch a jeepney going to Angeles City.

Iglesia ni Christo church San Fernando Pampanga Philippines

It was 7:15pm when I clicked this photo

I had to wait around 15 minutes until I finally managed to get a jeepney going to Angeles City.

Angeles City jeepney at night

It took nearly half and hour with all the stops until I finally got to Angeles City

But the driver eventually asked me, where exactly I wanted to go because he was nearing his final stop.

Angeles City pampanga Philippines at night

I didn't quite recognize any of the surroundings, so I told the driver I needed to go near SM Clark. He said, for that I'd have to hop onto another jeepney passing by Balibago

Which is what I did. Then when I got asked to get down from the second jeepney, I saw SM Clark, but it was still a bit far. So I hopped into another jeepney going up Perimeter Road and got down at the jeepney terminal.

Three jeepneys and ₱50 later, I was back in familiar territory. Even though I wanted to go back to my room and take a bath, I decided to have dinner now itself since I was out anyway. Plus, I was desperately craving some chilled beer!

Despite being Good Friday, some of the nightclubs and casinos were open. I took a stroll down Walking Street and finally ended up sitting at club called Angel Witch, only because it sounded badass and they were playing rock music. They had a few girls dancing to Bon jovi’s “It’s My Life,” but 15 minutes later and a beer down, I was bored and soon left.

I stopped by the Turkish restaurant on the way back, packed a meal and walked back to my room. I got out of my blood-stained clothes (you can’t help it, droplets of blood will splatter on you if you are close to the flagellants) and enjoyed a good, clean shower.

As I copied my photos over to my back-up hard drive, I couldn’t be more happier with my coverage of this, erm, interesting event. The above are just 220 of the 793 photos(yup!) I shot using my three devices: my Canon 7D (mostly), the Canon 450D* and my cellphone.

With the main event of this trip in the bag, I felt this visit to Philippines was well worth my money and time. And to think, I still had more than a week left and a lot more to see in this country!

*Regarding the photos taken using the Canon 450D. I mounted my wide angle lens on the 450D so that I could use the other lenses on my 7D. But I noticed just about every image I shot on the 450 was very blue. I only realized this after I had taken a few shots and I could figure out why the photos came out that way. The tungsten filter wasn’t enable and the white balance was et to auto. I couldn’t afford to restore the camera to factory setting in case it formatted the SD card in the process.

I did try and correct the blueish hue in every image, but only some I could turn from this:

Canon 450 d blueish tungsten look…. into this:

San Pedro Cutud village alley Pampanga Philippines

The rest had too much blue in them.

 

Previous posts in this series:

Philippines 2011: Leaving Sagada for Baguio, and arriving in Angeles city (Days 4 & 5)

Philippines 2011: Day 3 – Sagada’s Lumiang burial cave, Sumaguing cave, Hanging Coffins of Echo valley

Philippines 2011: Day 3 – Banaue town; heading to Sagada via Bontoc

Philippines 2011: Day 2 – Banaue rice terraces; trekking to Batad village

Philippines 2011: Day 1 — Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Fort Bonifacio

Philippines 2011: Flying over South China Sea for the first time

Other posts in this series:

Philippines 2011: Day 7 – Leaving Angeles City for Manila, Mall of Asia

Philippines 2011: Day 8 – Manila tour: Rizal Park, Intramuros, Manila Cathedral, China Town

Philippines 2011: Day 9 – Cebu: Fort San Pedro, Basilica of Santo Niño, Taoist Temple

Philippines 2011: Day 10 – Bohol tour: Chocolate Hills, Loboc river cruise, Tarsiers, churches

Philippines 2011: Day 11 – Arriving in Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Philippines 2011: Day 12 – Puerto Princesa Underground River tour, Palawan

Philippines 2011: Day 13 – Puerto Princesa to El Nido by bus

Philippines 2011: Day 14 – El Nido island hopping tour A and sunset at Las Cabanas beach, Palawan

Philippines 2011: Back to Manila, shopping, and my final thoughts about the country  (Last post)

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  • Allister

    splendid photography !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and some really hilarious comments tooenjoyed the journey as well ………. seeing this i hav decided to go to phillipines for a holiday just before good friday hope i make it next year

    [Reply]

  • rlim

    Thank you vmuch for all the clear closeup splendid photos and descriptions and invaluable directions of how & cost of getting there. Jesus wl bless you in promotg him. #its a miracle that there is no blood where the nails went thru the palms and feet !

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    “Jesus wl bless you in promotg him”

    Ha ha, okay… thanks? :)

    [Reply]