Bargayo: 20th cross in Tuburan

By Bjorn Abraham Tabanera |April 17,2014 - 10:00 AM

Gilbert Bargayo (CDN FILE PHOTO)

“This is my way of sacrifice and to show to the people what kind of sacrifice Jesus went through,” said 54-year-old Gilbert Bargayo.

Bargayo,   who  has been submitting himself to live crucifixion every Good Friday since the 1990s, will repeat his agony using real nails tomorrow in Tuburan town, northwest Cebu.

He said Tuburan Mayor Democrito Diamante invited him this year.

The Catholic Church disapproves of physical mutilation by penitents on Holy Week,  a practice in various provinces by men who whip themselves or submit to actual crucifixion as a form of repentance.

In Cebu, however, this is not a common ritual and Bargayo has made a name for himself with his Good Friday spectacle.

Bargayo said this was his way of striving to lead a cleaner life after he swore off drugs and alcohol in his 20s when he  joined a charismatic group.

“We have our own principles,” said Bargayo, a native of Leyte province who is residing in Carcar City.

Five assistants will help him in the reenactment  by hammering in four-inch nails to his hands and feet, he told Cebu Daily News.

He said he  dreamed of  reenacting Jesus’ death on the cross when he was 17 years old while still mired in vices like drugs and alcohol.

Tomorrow’s reenactment of the scene at Calvary will be his  20th crucifixion.

He said he took a three-year break from the practice in 2009 due to health reasons and resumed in  2012.

Bargayo denied allegations that he  does this for money.  However, he said he is  constructing a chapel in Guadalupe, Carcar City and  accepting donations toward its completion.

Many promised to help fund the project but only Mayor Diamante of Tuburan has contributed, he said.

“This would be my legacy if I die. It’s nearly finished except for the painting of the church,” Bargayo said.

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