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Nazarene rites ‘faster, more orderly’

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MANILA’S MOST REVERED Once again adored and escorted by millions, the image of the Black Nazarene inches its way past Manila City Hall during Wednesday’s grand procession. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Faith combined with planning produced a “miracle” of sorts: The procession went faster, the andas didn’t break down, the street sweepers went quickly into action, and the 200-year-old tradition showed no signs of fading.

The grand procession of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo on Wednesday drew an estimated nine million devotees and, as targeted, was several hours shorter than last year’s staging, which lasted for 22 hours.

Authorities attributed this to several factors, but mainly to the organizers’ decision to redesign the carriage, or andas, which bears the iconic image. Solid rubber tires replaced the inflatable wheels that broke down last year and caused long delays.

“This year’s procession is faster and more organized,” Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino said. “The wheels made a big difference.”

Tolentino also noted that this year’s devotees, despite the inevitable push-and-shove that marks the annual rites, were comparatively more cooperative.

“We learned our lesson last year,” said National Capital Region Police Office director Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina, adding that this year’s procession was “more orderly.”

Also, the MMDA’s army of street sweepers immediately fanned out to clean up the trash on the streets as soon as the crowds had moved on.

“I think we will collect only up to 30 truckloads (of trash) now. We had 50 truckloads last year,” said Francis Martinez, an MMDA official overseeing the cleanup. “We were surprised because we were expecting more people and therefore more trash. But this is good.”

“It’s faster this year,” said Lilia Tiluo, a 67-year-old grandmother from Binondo, Manila, who for the last four decades had been braving the raucous rites where predominantly male crowds demonstrate their faith and seek miraculous cures and a good life.

The mammoth procession, which started around 7:30 a.m. after a Mass at Rizal Park’s Quirino Grandstand, was able to cross Pasig River via MacArthur Bridge around 2:15 p.m. Last year, it reached this point only around 7 p.m.

As of 7:40 last night, the carriage had reached Castillejos Street, covering 80 percent of its route. Senior Supt. Ronald Estilles of the Manila Police District, commander of Task Force Nazareno, estimated that it would finally reach Quiapo Church around midnight.

Last year, the 17th-century image of Christ bearing the cross reached Quiapo Church around 6 a.m., 22 hours after it left the grandstand.

Estilles said the number of devotees peaked at nine million around 4 p.m.

But as in the previous processions, the adrenaline-fueled show of devotion—supposedly an occasion for piety—was not without flares of violence and mishaps.

As of 5:30 p.m., the Philippine Red Cross had treated around 1,400 people on-site for high blood pressure, dizziness, chest pains, breathing problems, vomiting and minor injuries due to the sheer crush of devotees trying to touch the image or at least the ropes used to pull it along.

At one point, tempers flared when a security guard at the National Museum reportedly prevented a woman and a two-year-old girl from taking temporary shelter at the building. When a group of men saw this, some threw rocks and water bottles at the guard while others tried to chase him.

The mob was pacified only after a museum official came out and apologized.

BAREFOOT PILGRIMS Unshod yet unwavering, some of the Black Nazarene devotees take a break to cool their heels. EDWIN BACASMAS

As the andas reached Manila City Hall, some devotees hurled plastic bags full of cold water at the mamamasan or the men in charge of pulling the carriage, supposedly to give them a drink under the morning sun. But one of the marshals on the carriage had to yell out a plea for the hurlers to stop after one of the bags hit the Nazarene.

A light shower fell on the devotees when the procession reached the vicinity of the old Metropolitan Theater. “It’s a blessing!” shouted one participant.

The procession commemorates the transfer of the Black Nazarene image from a Recollect Church in Intramuros, Manila, to Quiapo Church on Jan. 9, 1787.


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Tags: Black Nazarene procession , Faith and Belief , Feast of Black Nazarene , Philippines , Religion


  • Petrus_Romanus

    [ALL FROM the Revised Standard Version CATHOLIC EDITION]

    Galatians 5
    19 Now the works of the flesh are plain: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, 21 envy,[b] drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 

    Exodus 20
    4 “You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    Leviticus 26
    26 “You shall make for yourselves no idols and erect no graven image or pillar, and you shall not set up a figured stone in your land, to bow down to them; for I am the Lord your God. 2 You shall keep my sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.

    1 John 5
    21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

    Isaiah 42
    I am the Lord [YaHWeH], that is my name;  my glory I give to no other,  nor my praise to graven images.

    Ezekiel 14
    6 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God [YaHWeH]: Repent and turn away from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.

    1 Corinthians 10
    14 Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols…….. 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons.

    Psalm 115
    4 Their idols are silver and gold,    the work of men’s hands. 5 They have mouths, but do not speak;    eyes, but do not see. 6 They have ears, but do not hear;    noses, but do not smell.7  They have hands, but do not feel;    feet, but do not walk;    and they do not make a sound in their throat. 8 Those who make them are like them;    so are all who trust in them.

    Ezekiel 37
    23 They shall not defile themselves any more with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

    1 Corinthians 6
    9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral,[b] nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[c][d] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    Matthew 5 (Jesus speaks)
    17 “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.[a] 18 For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

    • WeAry_Bat

       For example, the lola of my daughter.  Religious in attending church on Sunday, tries to drag us out on mornings when we would rather have afternoon.

      Then for all the religiousity, asks me if daughter be brought to mangtatawas for her cough.  I said no. 

      I notice at the start of the year, some kind of a fruit in a plastic bag at the doorways.  I imagine a tiny hole or so, would bring out some fungi or molds out.

      It is paradoxical for such practices to be done by the lola, as they question the power of God. 

      But then, the mind which is leaning towards religion would also leaning towards spirits-something, wouldn’t it?  I think that is the answer.

      Again spirits leads to magic, leads to charms, leads to practitioners of such…So to the person there is nothing paradoxical in having Catholicism, mangtatawas and spirit offerings all in one basket. 

      In the case of this news, the thinking a piece of wood has some power than prayer.

      I do admit in my case, I find nothing conflicting in believing in God and in science.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

    BLACK NAZARENE MADE IN CHINA!!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3CKTN4Y7PNDL33JQJLHP2RFJKA Piola Pascuall

       INC, made in the PHILIPPINES

  • Magsasaka

    dahil maayos daw ang prusesyon ay isa daw itong himala nyahahahaha aba pwede nga naman dahil sa kawalan ng disiplina ng mga pinoy kapag sila ay nasa pinas hehehe

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/OS3MVCRQH7UV4MJRZURFNIXGBI Cho

      If they believe on that, what’s  your problem? Envy? Heavy heart? Let them be free to practice their belief. That’s their faith and destiny not yours. Be civilized. 

      • Magsasaka

        hahaha you know why pinas is going nowhere?because of your kind, are you sure there’s no problem with being mangmang?being mangmang has badly shaped our society.
        if you want them to practice their belief then you should also respect the beliefs of satanic cult and suicide bombers they carry their belief in doing their act.
        lastly, sana nakakuha ka ng kaputol na lubid at ilaga at inumin mo nakakagamot daw iyon ng sakit baka magamot ang sakit mo sa utak hehehe

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/OS3MVCRQH7UV4MJRZURFNIXGBI Cho

        Is Philippine allowed to practice such belief? Cultism is not allowed cannot even take SEC license to practice, as well as suicide bombers. Your statement is bizzare, I advised you to go to Psychiatric Doctor for extensive examination. You Indeed had mental Illness am sure for that.

      • Magsasaka

        now you are selective on which belief has the freedom of expression, what does SEC have to do with beliefs and cults?
        prasing a piece of wood as your god is ridiculous belief and now you won’t accept a much more ridiculous act of belief which is satanism and suicide bombing.
        you were asking what was the problem with their belief and i am giving you examples, so how about pagoda tragedy in bulacan, that tragedy was one of the outcome of their belief.
        if am to see a doctor the you should confine yourself in a mental facilities hehehe

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/OS3MVCRQH7UV4MJRZURFNIXGBI Cho

        Did you know that Religious faith is regulated in Philippines. Catholic faith is regulated. Any Religious activities are subject for regulation and restriction. Do you think nazarene feast can go on without a mayor’s permit? Use your coconut. I told you go to Psychiatric doctors you’re endangered species. That’s your next step is confinement.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TNASVGXZ23VCJWV7KO7WPDIKKI George

        catholic faith regulated? what a moron!!!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/OS3MVCRQH7UV4MJRZURFNIXGBI Cho

        Another one. 

      • Magsasaka

        regulated?since when?there is a provision that separates church and state in our constitution, religious institution are tax free, you should read more and learn more.
        you want me to accompany you in that mental facilities you are in hehehe, no way.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/OS3MVCRQH7UV4MJRZURFNIXGBI Cho

        Ignorance of the Law excuse no one. You really ignorant. You need to take corporation law before you need it all, or go to Securities and Exchange Commission.

      • Magsasaka

        what law?because you are more ignorant that i am, you don’t know what states in our constitution.
        if you were saying permit for that event yesterday, it was just normal so that the city government will do the necessary adjustment such as traffic rerouting.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/OS3MVCRQH7UV4MJRZURFNIXGBI Cho

        You’re so really ignorant. Ignorantia Legis Neminem Excusat….

      • Magsasaka

        and you are a total ignorant

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IAQLUSKZ7TH4C2FHOD7SLQONQ4 bong

         So you want death…..you wish for it.    What a moronic analogy – equating the peaceful religious procession to believers of violence.  Overdose ka na tsong.

      • Magsasaka

        what an inverted brain hehehe, anyway i was being asked what’s the problem with ridiculous beliefs and i cited samples but you are having a problem with reading and comprehension why don’t you go back to elementary school, !diot.

  • Roberto Duran

    Hahahaha, di yata kasama sa panata nila ang pagtapon ng basura sa tamang paraan…lol, kung totoo tlaga tong mga to at yung paniniwala nila dapat may disiplina sila sa sarili,…damaso…

  • Roberto Duran

    …amazing…how many tons of garbage after? …PLAIN 1D10TS

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TNASVGXZ23VCJWV7KO7WPDIKKI George

    as usuals the “numbskulls” are it again.

  • wysiwyg81

    if the fervor of physical religiosity shown by devotees can only translate to visible and equal goodness, discipline, respect, decency, cleanliness, honor, ay maganda sana. but the tradition of it as yearly shown on tv always simply boils down to plain and simple folkloric and pagan practices. the traditional celebration simply does not compute based on observable demeanor by majority of the devotees.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jose.nieto.9699 Jose Nieto

    What should be the differentiating demeanor between good or bad, decent or indecent, acceptable or not-acceptable, right or wrong in the practice of religious devotion? Do you think God will be happy to see His devotees na nagbabalyahan? I could almost hear someone saying . . . wtf . . .



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