Don’t worry if you’re only here because you’ve no idea what the Cutud Lenten Rites festival is and wanted to find out. Unless you’ve spent a lot of time in the Philippines, or have a weird obsession with peculiar world religious festivals, there’s no real reason why you would have heard of it.
I’ll start by giving it an introduction and explaining what it is – after which I probably won’t even need to write why you should go.
But I will anyway.
What is the Cutud Lenten Rites Festival?
In short, this Catholic festival takes place during Holy Week and is a re-enactment of Christ’s Passion and Death. It takes place in San Pedro Cutud, Pampanga, in the Philippines.
The festival takes place every year on Good Friday. It begins with a passion play, re-enacting Christ’s walk with the cross up to a make-shift Calvary, and penitents flagellating themselves. It culminates with the crucifixion of at least three flagellants. Yup, crucifixion.
Penitents are nailed to a cross using two-inch (disinfected) stainless steel nails.n Only after the penitents feel cleansed of their sin are they taken down. Other penitents flagellate themselves using bamboo sticks tied to a rope.
Taking part represents a sign of both faith and repentance.
Why should I visit?
- EXPERIENCE: It’s not an experience you won’t forget anytime soon.
- TRADITION: This is the most sought-after and popular event in the whole of The Philippines during Easter. An important festival for Filipinos and tourists alike. Some come back annually to take part.
- UNESCO: It has been registered in the Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory of the Philippines called ‘Pinagmulan’, and may be nominated for inclusion in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.
- HARDCORE: This festival is pretty real, and not for the faint-hearted. If you’re not into bloody things, think twice about visiting. There are many other penitents around who will whip themselves up as they walk on their knees. It’s even recommended to bring an extra set of clothes just in case you get splattered with blood…
- UNIQUE: I mean, it’s not exactly something that you can experience anywhere and everywhere…
- The Philippines: What a great excuse for a holiday. Many tourists come to the Philippines just for this festival, but whilst you’re on this island paradise, be sure to make the most of it! Easter time in the Philippines already promises a hot summer’s sun, worthy of at least one day on the beach.
How can I visit?
Young Pioneer Tours have been to this unique festival in the Philippines for over 4 years. With the expertise of their guides and experience working in the country and close with festival organisers, YPT provides ease and access to the Cutud Lenten Rites festival that no other company can compete.
A quick look at the itinerary:
- The tour begins leaving Manila at 5 am to get to the festivities.
- Breakfast, VIP lunch, media accreditation are included. This as well as all relevant donations and fees, and premium access for the duration of the event!
- Get VIP passes for the best spots to spectate and photograph the self-flagellating local chosen ones before they get nailed to a cross.
- Follow all the action as the participants have crosses nailed to them and head up the hill until their 3pm Crucifixion.
- Day ends enjoying dinner and drinks on Field Avenue.
For the budding photographer or blogger, YPT also arrange official accreditation and passes. This gives us some of the best positions available for unfettered photography!
Click here for more information about the tour and how to book!