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CUTUD PAMPANGA LENTEN RITES : recalling my first maleldo experience

It's again HOLY WEEK in the Philippines and people including myself are either busy queuing in transportation terminals or are yet to make up their minds where to go or what to do. My friends has been sending invitation in facebook to go to CUTUD PAMPANGA this Friday to witness Maleldo 2011.

Cutud is very famous during Holy Week, not just in the Philippines but all over the world as it is the place where penitents reenacts the Passion of Christ every good Friday which culminates in the actual nailing on the cross. I was in Cutud last year and I witnessed these Lenten Rites myself......

imitation of mount Calvary


The whole thing was not planned. I recall just visiting our friend, Ariel, who lives in Mabalacat Pampanga. My resolve to go here was not that strong, after all, I am one who has low tolerance to pain. The mere sight of suffering even in television makes me very uncomfortable. But since Ariel is the type who would easily grant your request and he said yes at my first mention of it, there, no turning back.

Using his families car, we drove to CUTUD, just a few kilometers from San Fernando Pampanga and there, experience my first Holy Week, hard core style!!!

cutud penitents

Since, its a very popular place during Holy Week, it's really crowded. If you have plans of going there this year, I would suggest you go early. We arrived at around 11am and parked around 2 kilometers from the main site because its literally impossible to get through the crowd and the long queue of cars parked along the way.

You have to sweat it out in short. But that's nothing compared to the sight you see along the way, from time to time, you would see topless men  flagellate themselves using bamboo sticks tied to a rope. This alone already made me uneasy.

But that's not all. The culmination of the rites would be the actual nailing on the cross of some penitents which is a reenactment of the Passion and Death of Christ on the cross.


yes, for real, they use inches nails!!! One can actually go close to the penitents and see it yourself. Teresa and Ariel  saw it all while I was on the sides busy ridding myself of the dust caused by the crowd coming in and out of the site. I was a few meters away blending in the crowd. Shame, I didn't have enough courage to even look for a  few seconds.

HOLY WEEK in Pampanga

crucifixion reenactments in Cutud Pampanga

I said it in my post last year about Maleldo 2010, I admire these people who go this far so as to express their faith and show their devotion to the church. I still hold that true to my heart, but I wanna add that I sometimes think its not necessary to go this extreme.Good thing ambulances await these penitents and so far, nobody has died for doing it. 

Holy Week in the Philippines is indeed passionate and colorful. The LENTEN RITES in Barangay San Pedro CUTUD San Fernando Pampanga is one proof of this.



PS: all the photos were taken by my friend Ariel using his Nikon dslr camera. I only watermarked them to indicate that I published them in my blog.


  1. The best talaga ang Cutud for this kind of tradition they have. May nawitness na akong ganyan pero hindi sila nagpapako for real. Ang sakit siguro niyan pero for God the're enduring all

  2. isa to sa mga tourist spot ng pampanga pagholy week isang beses pa lang ako nakapunta sa lugar na to. pero until now di ko ma rin magets why people do it... even sabihin nila na panata nila yun...

  3. pagdumadaan yung sinasakyan namin sa pampanga, makakakita ka niang mga naghahampas ng anik-anik sa kanilang likod kahit duguan na at natutuyo agad sa sikat ng araw. tapos yang iba nagpapapako pa. grabe.

  4. have been planning to experience this kaya lang family tradition na nasa bahay lang pag holyweek . Minsan itry ko din kaya i break ang family traditions =)

  5. at since may pasok ako sa thu at fri, opis lang ako. hay... God bless :)

  6. Ayokong matalsikan ng dugo. Nice shots, kababayan.

    The best mawitness ang ganitong rich na tradition natin.

  7. grabe di ko talaga kaya bespren pusa yung pako pako

  8. ako penitensya ko, hanggang sa no-eating-meat lang

  9. kapapanood ko lang nito kanina sa tv, i mean yung preparation for this event. Same guy din pala yung magpapapako.

    sana maexperience ko rin makapunta dito :)

  10. Aw sakit talaga pagpapako... kahit tumitingin lang sa kanila... nararamdaman mo ang sakit... pero sana makakita ako niyan live kahit minsan...

  11. Nice photos! Never been there at gusto ko mawitness yan kasi sa TV ko lang nakikita yan. =)

  12. but I feel sorry for them lalo those who are hurting themselves. But if it works for them, goodluck nalang sa kanila.

  13. hello anton :)

    what's great about long holidays is that in case where you do not have any travels, you can check back on some of the blogs you have missed because of work and all. have a pleasant break my friend.

  14. Haven't witnessed this. Here in our town (Victoria, Tarlac) this is done as well anually on a smaller scale and less participiants. Tinamad ako lumabas kanina kasi over yung init :( Baka himatayin ako sa kalagitnaan ng ritwal. Lol.


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