The Feast of the Black Nazarene is one of the most attended annual religious gathering in the catholic church. Millions of devotees attended the procession this year, which started after the Holy Mass celebrated by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park. The traslacion referring to the transfer of the centuries-old image back to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church) started at 7:00 AM is one of the highlights of the fiesta every January 9th.
I arrived at Liwasang Bonifacio at around 6:00 AM to get a good spot where I could secure myself and be able to take photos. At first, there where not too many people around. But as the procession started and the carriage of the Black Nazarene slowly arrived, devotees and spectators flock the area.
At around 12:00 noon, the carriage arrived at the Manila City Hall. The moment it appeared, devotees started to shout Viva! Viva! and waved their towels and handkerchiefs. The carriage that holds the image of the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno is where ropes were attached and pulled by the devotees who walk barefooted throughout the procession.
Towels or handkerchiefs are thrown to the marshals and escorts guarding the Black Nazarene, requesting it to be wiped on the statue. Some would even climb the carriage to be able to touch the statue, which has been a practice for so many years. You could really see their extreme eagerness to touch the image despite the multitude of people and the risk of accident it involves.
Here is a video of the event as the carriage passed by Liwasang Bonifacio.
Being a catholic, this experience of a religious event is unforgettable. Despite warnings from my family and friends about the notoriety of the event for deaths and injuries as it had happened in past celebrations, I'm glad that I went there and was able to witness the biggest annual religious gathering in the country. Viva Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno!
I left as soon as the carriage passed by Liwasang Bonifacio. As of posting time, the procession is still going-on. The organizers expect that it will arrive at Quiapo church later tonight.
More photos on Pinoy AdvenTurista's Facebook Page, click here.
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