Human Crucifixion

Cebu, Philippines

When Gilbert Bargayo was a child he had a dream that called him to act out real life crucifixions. Every year since 1996 he has carried out this dream, becoming somewhat of a local icon and helping others reflect on their own sins during Holy Week. In preparation for his crucifixions Bargayo fasts for one month eating only fruits and vegetables. His companion, Bimboy Carpintero, has been Bargayo’s nailing man for every crucifixion he has done. Special steal nails and a wooden mallet are used by Bimboy to nail Bargayo’s hands and feet to a wooden cross in front of over 15,000 people. Bimboy also uses a steal knife to pierce Bargayo’s ribs, making the reenactment of Christ’s crucifixion more authentic. Before the crucifixion Bargayo carries a 120kilo cross through the streets having his back whipped with wire. Despite the pain during the actual nailing, Bargayo’s wounds heal very fast. Right after he is taken down from the cross he washes his wounds in salt water and then places a band-aid over them. Gilbert will continue to be crucified for as long as he remains healthy.

Gilbert Bargayo is crucified for the 20th time on Good Friday in Tuburan, Cebu, Philippines.
Gilbert draws a crowd of locals the night before his crucifixion.
Gilbert Bargayo
Bargayo gets makeup applied prior to being nailed to the cross.
Bargayo and his nail man, Bimboy Carpintero, in their room on the morning of his crucifixion.
Bargayo carries a 120 kilo cross through the streets of Tuburan (stations of the cross) while his back is whipped with wire.
Gilbert waits while people pray the stations of the cross.
People gather on the streets to watch Gilbert and pray the stations of the cross.
Gilbert lays at the base of the church altar after carrying his cross through town.
One of the other men (who will be tied to a cross next to Gilbert) gets whipped during the procession.
Gilbert gets a massage after the procession before making his way to the 3pm crucifixion.
Media coverage before Gilbert makes his way to the crucifixion stage in town.
Bargayo lays down on his cross.
Gilbert on the cross in front of 15,000 people. He remains nailed to the cross for 30 minutes.
A steal knife is used to pierce Bargayo's ribs.
Women watch on stage as Gilbert remains on the cross for 30 minutes.
Nails are pounded through Gilbert's feet.
Onlookers reacts to nails being placed into Gilbert's feet.
Gilbert Bargayo on the cross.
After the nails are removed from Gilbert's hands and feet he is carried to a vehicle that takes him to a private beach where he will wash his wounds.
Gilbert get helps while washing his wounds in the ocean.
Bargayo walks out of the ocean after washing his wounds.

Tagged: cebu, digital photography, documentary, Good Friday, holy week, Human Crucifixion, philippines, photography, photojournalist,
Posted on: Apr 30, 2014