Self-Flagellation: Whether you are a Catholic viewing this activity as an expression of one's faith, an Evangelical who sees the futility of the exercise against the backdrop of Jesus' "once-for-all" atoning sacrifice, a skeptic who scoffs at the illusion of a metanarrative adhered to by religionists, a journalist nosing for a human interest story, or simply a disinterested party who loves to interrogate truth claims, footages like this is something you surely will ponder upon or interrogate further:
The tool used by my fellow Filipinos in this act of self-punishment is, of course, a far cry from the real Roman whip called "flagrum" described as follows:
[The flagrum]... had a sturdy handle to which were attached long leather thongs of varying lengths. Sharp jagged pieces of bone and lead were woven into them. The Jews were limited by their law to 40 lashes. The Pharisees, with their emphasis on strict adherene to the law, would limit their lashes to 39, so that if they miscounted they would not break their law. The Romans had no such limitations. (McDowell 1981, 43)
Quoting a physican, Dr. C. Truman Davis, Josh McDowell goes on to detail the havoc wreaked by the whip on the victim's body:
The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across [a person's] shoulders, back and legs. At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows. Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped. (ibid.)
Work cited: McDowell, Josh. 1981. The Resurrection Factor: Does the Historical Evidence Support the Resurrection of Jesus Christ? Nashville, TX: Thomas Nelson Publishers.