Penitent ignores church appeal


By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.

SORSOGON CITY ( – The catholic church appeal to refrain from flogging oneself remains in deaf ears among the believers of the rituals. The lenten week always created a stir when flagellant of various persuasions took the streets as their arena for the atonement of their sins.

Armed with flogs consisting of 25 kawayan sticks of even sizes, half naked, hiding their identity with a cloth lock by vines, barefooted, they took the limits of their endurance continuously whipping their back aided by slashing the skin with a razor blade, they whip in unison as if reciting the rosary of beads. The penitinsaryo’s never groans, they have the courage to live with their faith.

Witnessing a group of penitence, who for years practiced the ritual not as a mere display of courage but a deep sense of pride, Juanito, a vendor, had been flogging for eighteen years The scars are hard he said, but, notwithstanding the pains, the heat, the thirst, it gave him belongingness to his belief. Such expression of faith is hard to be erased, the feeling is deeply felt, said he.

Val at 29, was practicing it the past 9 years, doing it effortlessly. His back becomes numb to pain, the pang of thirst don’t bother him, what he knows at that time is for him to keep his faith. Motmot to friends is in his 8 year of the ritual, his experience made him a better person, along the way. For Adam its his second year, his ever supportive girlfriend is tagging along, taking pictures and you can see the pride in her face. His man is indeed the right man for him.

Not lagging behind was Gerry and Jay, on their second calvary, they too knows the meaning of their sacrifices, they have the same belief as the other four.

Their stories maybe varied and their will to keep their tradition of following the pains of the Son of God is not for me to question.

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