Foreign tourists have sparked outrage by posing for selfies on crosses shortly before the Cutud Lenten Rites in San Fernando on Good Friday.
Netizens have criticised the visitors’ actions, calling them disrespectful of their traditions.
Writing on Twitter, one user said: “I can’t believe they could be so disrespectful!! This makes me so sad.”
Another agreed, saying: “This must stop! What are they doing? Have they no respect!”
However, others couldn’t see the problem. One wrote: “Catholic church leaders already say these rites are not correct, so why worry?”
Similar photos posted in 2012 also sparked outrage, with Mandaue City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing saying: “Ok. This maybe one of the worst things ever”
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian also hit out at those tourists, saying: “This is so wrong. Where is this?”
In response to the 2012 pictures, Ronaldo Tiotuico of the Department of Tourism said: “This is indeed a desecration of our solemn tradition and faith. Absolutely despicable. Calling on the barangay chairman… Condemnation to the max…”
Following the 2012 “crelfies” measures were taken to prevent such a thing happening again. Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan Pamintuan said: “After that unfortunate incident, wire fences were installed, and tourists were no longer allowed to get near the area of the solemn and sacred rite.”
However, it seems that these precautions have not been effective this year.
Let’s just hope they washed their hands afterwards.