Lazada Philippines

Friday, January 11, 2013

Feast of the Black Nazarene 2013: The The Love, The Devotion and the Cosplay

If the celebration last year left we with questions as to how come the number of devotees of the Black Nazarene keeps growing and do all of these devotees really know what they are doing, I guess this year, as I brave myself again in facing the challenges of capturing some bits and pieces of one of the most celebrated feast in the country, the Feast of the Black Nazarene 2013 leave with simple joy and amazement as to how miraculously every thing goes in its right place.

Compared to last year, this year's procession took a little less shorter. From the longest 22-hour procession, this year, the procession only lasted for 18 hours, so by 1:30 in the morning of January 10, the replica of the Black Nazarene was finally back, safe and sound, to its place inside the Basilica of the the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila.

Having a family who's a devotee of the said patron, it s a tradition for us to visit the church  see the procession even if we all hail from the neighboring district, Tondo. It was my father who's very active to this kind of stuff back then, so don't ask me to whom I get the habit. But then again, more than a habit, seeing and praying on to the Nazarene on this festive day is actually an eye-opener.

The Love

I arrived at the basilica at exactly 12 noon. I told to myself, since my father has joined our creator last 2011, I'll be the one who will be representing our family to this feast. And even though I forgot to bring that day the shirt that my father used to wear when he's attending the procession, I just offered my whole time to the Black Nazarene asking him to keep my father safe there in heaven. 

On my way the basilica, I already felt how symbolic this journey is going to be. Some of the devotees are just outside, and despite of the sun and open air, they couldn't help but to cheer for the Nazarene singing his praise song while waving their white hanky and towels.

The time I got inside the basilica, it was already quarter to 1, so I just waited for the next mass to start. It was actually a part of my routine for the past few years that before I see the whole place, as well as the ongoing procession, I will celebrate the mass first to the basilica, where the "half" or the head of the real Black Nazarene is on display. I also thought that it would be nice to praise and thank him first before I face the challenge of the procession.

One thing that caught my attention, as well as my heart that time was the man who is standing beside me during the mass. The moment everyone sung the last song, which is the Black Nazarene song, I noticed that he can't stop himself from crying. 

That moment, I can't help my heart from melting, and I can't help but to get goosebumps too. So, after taking a few glance him, I look up and just pray that whatever that man is praying  I just hope that the Lord grants it. He looks nice and decent, and maybe he's just going through some rough patch, and I know, that since we both believe that the Black Nazarene is miraculous, his prayers will be heard. :-) I know! :-)

The Devotion

After that mass, I immediately went out to see more of this celebration. To some who thinks that the Feast of the Black Nazarene is all about the procession, sorry, but it's not. The number maybe smaller, but he people who flock to the basilica is still large and still reminds everyone of that true devotion. 

The devotion of the people doesn't stop on those two things too. Around the basilica where the procession will be parading were food and drinking stalls that offer free food and water to all visitors and devotees. It may not be a lot, but I honestly think that it's nice to see these kind of offerings. And also, it gives me this idea that we really have our own ways of repenting for our sins and giving back some of our blessings. God is really good.

We should not also take for granted the people who offered their service for free, from the medics who were there all those time to the unpaid ushers and usherettes who help those who need something. I really salute those who I saw carrying old people who fainted because of the lack of air and the visitors too who offered air and water those who are about to give up - it is one devotion that is so hard to question.

After an hour of walking around, I found myself facing the procession of the Black Nazarene. I usually see the procession from a far, since it a common knowledge how drastic the parade can be, but since I can't find any escape route any more, I just stood on one side of the street, dance and took picture while swaying along the crowd.

I thought I'll die, especially when the rope was thrown right in front me, but thank God, everything went okay, and it was actually one feast experience that I will never forget. It was fun and learning, and at the same time fulfilling, because it made me feel that I really joined the procession.

The Cosplay

After the procession went pass us, guess what was left? Trash! They are everywhere, just like the people who I think are part of the yearly Feast of the Black Nazarene cosplay.

I have nothing against them, because they really don't mean any harm to anybody, but seriously, to pose yourselves right in front of the church? I cannot believe that the Basilica of the Black Nazarene is allowing them until now - but then again they don't mean any harm. So I guess, just for the sake of adding more human interest to this very interesting celebration, they are keeping them there. I hope next year, we will respect this festivity more.

I also hope that next time, people will be reminded more to throw their trashes in bins. It is sad to see that faith doesn't go well with loving the mother earth. It is God who created these things, let's not forget that. :-)

The idea of "cosplay" probably also goes to those who acts as devotees but are actually pickpockets or just don't know the real meaning of this whole celebration. I am not judging anyone, but when the news broke about the pickpocket issue, which took place inside the basilica, I mean, who are they kidding? The men who pretend to be religious but battered their wives and their children, who don't work hard for their family or maybe into some bad habits and not doing something about it, who are we kidding? People, if we want miracle, we have to help ourselves too and our fellows, right?

The Feast of the Black Nazarene is considered of one of the most sacred celebration in our country. I'm happy that I encountered that day the true meaning of the festivity. The love and devotion of the Filipinos to Jesus Christ is indeed unquestionable, but I just hope that more than just the number of people, I wish that our faith to Jesus grows more as well as to the world he gave to us and the life He sacrificed for everyone is give more importance.


If I get to be a mayor of Manila someday, I will have that white building behind that basilica DOWN!

Happy fiesta again to everyone and happy Rammmpa!


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