Magdarame | @kapampangan.words via Video of Mágdaráme from Crystaljade. ytv on YouTube

[TW: blood, self-harm] The major figure of the Kapampángan Holy Week that has made Kapampángans famous for their extreme Lenten rituals is the magdarame, with the sight of blood and the sound of the palaspas or burílius hitting their backs a common scene on the streets everywhere. While flagellants consider this as part of their panátâ or religious vow, others consider this as spiritual vanity, while health officials warn against its health risks.

Kapampángan penitents and devotees during Holy Week
Variation: mándarámé
Synonym: salibatbat (mágsalibatbat, sásalibatbat), mágpeniténsia

Root word:
DÁMÉ • (DAH-meh)
(to) commiserate, sympathize, or share sorrow or hardship
Tagálog (Filipino): dámay

Derived Word
PAKIKIRÁMÉ • (puh-kee-kee-RAH-meh)
condolences, compassion
Tagálog (Filipino): pakikirámay

KARÁMÉ • (kuh-RAH-meh)
someone who sympathizes with another
Tagálog (Filipino): karámay

Verb Conjugation
dumámé, dárámé, dínámé – to commiserate, sympathize, or share sorrow or hardship (Actor Focus)
damáyan, dadamáyan, démáyan – to commiserate, sympathize, or share sorrow or hardship (Object Focus)
idámé, darámé, dinámé – to involve someone, to be made to share one’s situation (Object Focus)
midámé, midadámé, médámé – to get dragged or involved in something, to be implicated (Stative/Actor Focus)
makirámé, mákirámé, mékirámé – to empathize, sympathize, express condolences (Actor Focus)

Origins of Magdarame

It is said that this tradition has its roots in the Kapampangan pre-colonial practice of paraya or blood offering to the earth mother Indung Tibuan during kaleldo (the hot dry season) as a prayer for the coming rainy season.

Types of Magdarame

  • Mamalaspas (bleed and whip their backs)
  • Mamusan Krus (cross carriers)
  • Kukusad (crawl on the hot ground)
  • Kristos (nailed on the cross)