Bargayo: 20th cross in Tuburan
“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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