by Alan Robles
Only Filipinos can be crucified.
This startling announcement was issued by the city of San Fernando, the place that observes Good Friday by watching religious devotees (aka “maniacs”) get hammered onto crosses.
There is no truth to the rumor that the city's motto is “Nailed It.”
Well, it seems things have been getting out of hand (and foot), because the practice has been drawing increasing numbers of tourists from here and abroad. And some of those tourists aren't sitting down and gawking. Apparently foreigners have been crowding locals for the privilege of being crucified. Last year, at least one European devotee (aka “maniac”) managed to have himself nailed and videoed, beating a local to the post, so to speak.
“That was my cross”, you could almost hear the local penitent weeping.
Which is why San Fernando has decided to send a message. That message is: We give priority to local lunatics.
But why stop there? Having come up with one regulation, the city officials should draw up comprehensive guidelines putting order into this custom – something that will channel religious devotion and turn the practice into a heartfelt, genuine and sincere paying tourist attraction. If Pamplona has its “Running of the Bulls” why can't San Fernando have its “Nailing On The Cross”?
The way I see it the rules could be organized as follows:
1. Facebook trolls and Marcos loyalists will have a certain number of reserved slots
2. Filipino politicians get free crucifixion
3. Even if they don't want it
4. In fact anybody can just drag them off to be nailed
1. All foreigners have to pay for reservations for crucifixion.
2. Foreigners have to show proof of their devotion, in the form of a generous donation to the mayor's campaign fund.
3. Chinese tourists who can prove they opened an airplane door or caused a flight to turn back get a special discount (present relevant clippings, police reports, etc)
4. Foreigners can pay for extras that include: preliminary scourging, public mockery, and basting with a vinegar-soaked sponge attached to a spear.
5. Entombment is a separate package
6. Resurrection: Client will have to make their own arrangements
7. Foreigners can choose to be crucified with two thieves, subject to availability of politicians
Decorum and attire
1. Don't take pictures. Who are we kidding? Go ahead and take pictures. There'll be kiosks selling SD cards, chargers and batteries.
2. No skimpy attire. Participants in this spiritual event are encouraged to wear appropriately religious clothing – for instance they can dress like priests and bishops. Even female tourists.
3. No applauding and cheering. Unless the person being crucified is a politician and you really can't help it.