The Feast of the Black Nazarene.
This was attended by almost 9 million devotees,I’ am one of them.
Like love you cannot argue with faith.I maybe skeptic with regards to the priests and what they are preaching based on the current situation, but like the 9 million people last January 9, I have my own way of dealing with faith. This was my second year of joining the traslacion (moving the anda from one place to another). L-like the others, Quiapo is a sanctuary for me.When I am feeling hopeful, lost and etc. even for some this is a place of eccentric faith, what have you including witchcraft (if you believe in such thing) . the black Nazarene maybe a statue but there is something with him & the place.I cant explain, the energy is different.
Together with my friend Lyn, we followed the sea of people which started at 6am at the Luneta Grand Stand but we were able to catch up at 1:30 in the afternoon near FEATI University Carriedo. We were planning to just get a glimpse of the “Poon” in the Anda (the Black Nazarene) and will head back home,but NO, its impossible to squeezed in the mob.Testing us if our devotion is for real perhaps.So we decided to go to church first a midst the sea of people in Quiapo. We reached the church grounds 30 minutes after.On a regular day- from Carriedo one could reach the church in 5 minutes.
“Hindi mahulugan ng karayom” attended mass while waiting for the Anda and so we thought the traslacion would end early.We attended the mass, 2 masses in fact (noticed i have halo?)
Images of the faithfuls.
The shirt says it all. there was baby sleeping on his father’s shoulder, one of the 9 million and so were the curious foreign tourists.
The innocents and parents alike walked barefooted,the pavement was a good spot to rest.Why do children have to ask for alms at such young age too?I never asked.I just wondered. But most of the parents who brought their siblings were asking for healing some sickness.
We walked a bit so cramps would not kill our legs.Lit a candle and uttered prayers.
Still no sign of the humongous crowd following the Anda , the street where it should pass –full of regular vendors yet–”Business as Usual” while the Poon was still paraded in side streets of Quiapo.
We were asking for it’s whereabouts so we can follow but different people we encountered gave us different answers so we enjoyed walking in the vicinity while waiting.
Waited until we realised its dusk already.Still no proper answer where the Nazareno will pass so we decided to stay put at the Quezon Bridge (to get a good view hopefully when the procession passes.)
At the bridge..
We encountered singing blind couple beggars with donation box, and an in despaired woman who was asking for more love songs, for all she cared—laughing, dancing,clapping and crying telling the crowd how she was maligned and left by the man she once loved,but still she wants to listen to love songs in between sobs and laughter and loss of sanity.With eyes closed after more than 5 songs she ended up sitting on the ground still asking for more love songs,never got tired.I remember Adele H’s story..how she lost her sanity too due to the love for one man who was has never loved her.She kept on looking for the man until finally they crossed path but Adele did not recognized him anymore.
We left the trio when it was darker.We finally had the right answer of the where-abouts of the image of the black Nazarene. It was in Arlegui, so we headed towards Arlegui.
was exceptionally bright churchyard “Fiesta”talaga!
Passing the small alleys-Tail end of the procession? Not yet. Parts of it.
Again, we followed the people who were planning to “Salang” (brave the mob to climb the Anda)
while traversing the alleys–OMG! the gentrification of Quiapo has started.I love heritage conservators. I loved the night because it has brought me in the alleys of Quiapo. Dream come true.:-) even when I was a university belt kid,i never reached as far as the Muslim area like this night . Without worrying about snatchers,scummers or what have they we walked and walked passing alley after alley.
With faith and in all haggardness, we reached & settled at the corner street of Concepcion Aguila where the Nazarene will pass. Arlegui was a block away still.According to a resident, this year’s route was the old and original route of the Anda, so they brought back the tradition upon request of the residents of Quiapo, the Anda must pass the eskinitas”(small alleys)
After almost two hours waiting, talked to some policemen,university students,negotiated with rescuers to adopt us if ever the mob will push us..There was a commotion from afar.He’s there arriving! I took a shot hoping to catch his arrival.This was what appeared in my camera after.Hair raising,only bright light light.
He was too close to us at 9:30 in the evening after Viva and waving of towels and kerchiefs.He was close- then I was suddenly in tears.I can’t explain why.I was just in tears.In my mind I thanked the Lord for making me brave too,brave journeying my life despite falls.Thanked him just thanked him for all I have.could not think of anything more, just uttered “make me brave in every storm Lord” and thanked him for all the blessings.
Brave devotees tried to get through the mob just to go near the Black Nazarene.young and old, but not for those too old anymore.Like we presumed, a minute after we were pushed by the swerving sea of people, that made me took shelter in the rescue center. After the swarming human sweating bodies that pushed us aside, the Anda slowly entered the dark and small alley still followed by the sea of human body.
While the commotion was ongoing every now and then..
there were scenes like the one’s below.
volunteer rescuers non stop reviving the fallen ones out of dehydration and exhaustion for almost 15 hours already inside the crowd.
Concerted efforts.I salute those rescuers!
30 minutes later, the area got cleared.
We started heading home walking, we did not wait for the procession to reach the church.it’s going a long way still.
On our way home we passed by San Sebastian church which is also in Quiapo. The church offered it’s grounds to devotees seeking for a place to rest awhile.
Along the streets we saw people resting their backs on the pavement.
Hhelped two very old devotees to get their jeepney ride.Asked for flowers from patron floats.
Then ate our first decent meal of the day at 11pm.
The traslacion finally arrived the church at 2am, we heard from the news the following day.”Splendor at Dawn” according to one print news. You may call the devotees crazy but faith is really something.