Gleeful photo ops on cross in Angeles go viral; Christians express disgust

This photo of a girl posing for pictures on a cross has been shared more than 1,200 times from the Facebook account of photo enthusiast Maike Domingo.
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - A picture of a girl posing on a wooden cross has gone viral online, with incensed devotees decrying it on social media sites as insensitive and blasphemous.

The photograph was first posted on Facebook by photo enthusiast Maike Domingo. Domingo told the incident took place in Lourdes village in Angeles City on Good Friday. It was one of at least five photos of tourists taking turns on the cross, posing gleefully as if they had been crucified.

Retired Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz told News 5 that the Catholic Church was saddened by the act of tourists on the cross. He said that while he assumed there was no intent to insult, the girl's posing on the cross was unfortunate. Cruz said the public should think carefully before posting pictures online that might hurt other people.

Domingo said the girl whose picture he snapped snuck into the gated lot where three crosses were being readied for a scheduled "Senakulo" at 3 pm. The crosses were to be used by devotees for actual reenactments of Christ’s crucifixion.

Photo by Maike Domingo

Domingo was among 15 photo enthusiasts resting near the site at around noon when he saw "something unusual" with the spectators. "Parang overboard na yung nakita mo, medyo respeto naman (mula) dun sa nagpose," Domingo said.

He snapped a picture of the girl posing on the cross along with several kids. Teens and even a foreigner took turns for their photos posing with the wooden structure.

As of 4 pm on Monday, or 20 hours after it was uploaded on the Internet, Domingo's photo had been shared more than 1,200 times from his own account, and several people commented with dismay and anger.

"PAKUAN NA YAN...Martilyuhin na...Strike the Iron while is HOT..." said Arjhin Renacido on Facebook.

Photo by Maike Domingo

Domingo does not know the identity of the girl but said he has been swamped with a lot of phonecalls and Facebook inquiries about it.

"I was just taking a photo of what I though was disturbing behavior," he said. "But now, I'm being disturbed as well."