Whipping their backs to a bloody state and nailing themselves to crosses, devotees in the fervently Catholic Philippines marked Good Friday with extreme acts of faith that have become tourist attractions. In towns north of Manila at least five people were nailed to crosses, while in an island to the south hundreds of residents dressed up as Roman centurions as part of decades-old traditions in the Southeast Asian nation.

These customs flourish, although they are not officially endorsed by church leadership. In the island of Marinduque, about 150 kilometres (100 miles) south of the capital, residents in centurion outfits and heavy wooden masks, played at hunting down a renegade Roman soldier called St. Longinus. READ MORE