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Passion and Pain: Easter in the Far East

[WARNING: The following article contains extremely graphic images.] How can a bustling city of over 10 million people become a ghostown in just a matter of days? Well, it takes a miracle – the miracle of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Every year in the first week of April, millions of Filipinos leave the city center of Metro Manila to travel for hours (and sometimes days) to their far flung hometowns or provinces to celebrate the rising of Jesus Christ. What makes the celebration of Easter spectacular and one-of-a-kind here is not so much in the celebrating, but rather, in the emulating. We’ve got our Ninja Nerdles on the scene to give us a first-hand look at the passion and pain of Easter in the far East.

In the United States, we know it’s Easter when that old Cadbury bunny audition commercial starts playing again in between our favoirite shows. Our kids are outside hunting for Easter eggs (probably Cadbury), while we either egg them on to keep looking or we sit back watching some Easter parades or 7th Heaven reruns. In the Philippines, however, you’d know it’s Easter when you see this kind of procession along your street:

In this part of the Philippines, this is what is known as “darame” in which these devout Catholics emulate the passion or the story of Christ’s suffering. From what we’ve seen, the self-flagellation can become quite extreme. Carrying a large wooden cross for miles in over 100 degree heat is obviously not as painful as cutting yourself on the back and slapping your fresh wounds with indiguenous nunchucks. To top off these spectacular acts of devotion and penance, some go as far to replicate Christ himself on the cross.

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Being nailed on the cross.

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Nailed on the cross.

Let us know what you think in the comments below, and how you celebrate your Easter in your part of the world.

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*Photos are courtesy of our Ninja Nerdle Correspondent, Kevin. These photos are exclusive to Nerdles. You may not republish or use these pictures without expressed written consent of Nerdles.

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