Traslacion 2011: The Feast of The Black Nazarene

The ageless tradition lives on of the oldest and probably the longest procession in the country happens again in Manila. And today is my 8th year joining the procession. Thank God that the date falls on a Sunday in which I don't have a shift on that day. Most of us would know what happens on this feast, that there will be a lot of people, not just hundreds, not just thousands but millions! This would make manila the most dense place on that day! Amazingly enough that there are people that actually came from near and far provinces. 

The feast of the Nazareno shows faith and prayers can make a difference. I admit that I have never tried to join in the procession walking on my bare feet but I think i will try that on the next years of the feast. This year, I was not able to start the mass at Luneta, but decided to attend mass. It was the most physically challenging mass as I pass through the sea of devotees to get inside the basilica. I took me almost two masses to get in and out of the church. I took the chance to take pictures and the video of the NPJN hymn.

Of course, the feast is also the the many faces that makes the celebration colorful. This includes the religious cults and fanatics. Aside from the millions of bare footed devotees there are also the countless number of Nazareno replicas from small ones to the ones that have its own entourage. The celebration wont be complete without businesses that take advantage of the moment to make a sale from shirts, towels, food, drinks and many other things that could or could not be related to the Nazareno. This expands from Luneta to the ends of Recto which every year becomes a war zone of garbage after.

But amidst the chaotic and dense environment, you would notice the power of the human spirit especially in prayer. Its already a big effort to go through the hassle of heavy human traffic plus the threat of snatchers and rowdy devotees. You could also see people of senior ages still devoted to the Señor because of the gratitude they  are thankful.

I myself still find myself to this realization and that is why I am still here. I know that even I cannot get to the actual statue paraded, he would still see what is inside of us that proves our faith in him. For a financially poor country like ours, we find ourselves to be spiritually rich and this also forms our values and morals. Though its already the age of globalization, these things remind us of where we started.

Though there are really sad parts about the feast that many would take advantage of this for their personal goals. It is given, but what they cannot never corrupt is the power of the human spirit to make an impact, a very big impact actually, and this sometimes makes it fun even with all the pain. There is also the fact that when you attend this one with your family and friends is definitely a bonding moment.

Thank God that this year there is no fatalities but there was an increase of the injuries. But its a god sign to see that the trend is improving. I hope there will be the day that all can enjoy the feast without getting hurt. Overall, I was satisfied with the new way of seeing the procession, I may have not witnessed the Original Nazareno action this time, it showed me a different side that showed me how it made an impact on the heart of its devotees.

Here are some of the other interesting pics on that day...
 their group is staring at the sun at 11am praying
I admire the people in the medical team, so far the busiest team every year
Its Maroon everywhere!
literally a 'sea of people'
the church is jampacked every mass
rescuers prepared on McArthur bridge if ever someone would fall...

you could also check out what happened last year on my blogpost here.

and also view the complete photo album.

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