More than 20 Filipinos nailed themselves to crosses on Good Friday in a show of their devotion to the Roman Catholic faith.

The real-life re-enactments are held every Good Friday in the northern city of San Fernando and nearby Paombong town, despite opposition from the Catholic church. The event draws hundreds of tourists, reported AFP.

Arturo Bating, 44 had four inch nails driven through his palms for the first time Friday.

This is a vow I had made to God so that He will spare my family from sickness, he told AFP. He lasted on the cross for several minutes. It was a bit painful, but bearable, he said, vowing to come back next year to partake in the ritual.

Fifty people dragged crosses through the streets while more than 20 people were nailed to crosses. One person had to be rushed to the hospital after his feet sustained heavy bleeding. People undergo the ritual to atone for sins, pray for necessities, or give thanks to God's gifts.

Alex Laranang, 57, told AFP has participated in the crucifixion for the past 12 years.

I had made a vow to do this every year until I die, said Laranang. I do not expect anything in return. I do this for my God.

He said the pain was a minor inconvenience.

I hardly feel any pain. The nerves have been deadened, he said. After this, I go home, eat and go to sleep. After two days I go back to work.

Corazon Cabigting was the one of the only women who participated in the reenactment. She dragged her cross through the streets and was later nailed to it.

I do this penance out of my free will because I believe that God will help relieve my sickness, she said to Reuters.

Others showed their devotion by whipping their bare backs with strips of bamboo.

Archbishop Jose Palma, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines said that while the church does not encourage the practice, they find no fault in people participating in it.

We do not judge and condemn, but we discourage it, he said to the Washington Post.

80 percent of Filipinos are Catholic.