Faith buoys 3 devotees amid sea of Black Nazarene believers
MANILA, Philippines — Different strokes for different folks. And for these three individuals, no amount of distance, heat, and pandemonium could stop them from showing their faith and embark on their annual panata to the Black Nazarene.
In the last six years, 26-year-old Buloy Husayan has been a regular at Traslacion appealing to high heavens for a baby.
“Pang-pitong taon ko na ito, pero nasanay na rin katawan ko (This is my seventh year, but my body is already used to it),” Husayan said of how he manages to be an early riser during the day of the grand procession – a major religious event for Filipino Catholics.
“Kasi matagal na po kami ng asawa ko na ‘di nagkaka-anak,” he said. “Nananalangin din ako taun-taon na isali ako sa Nazareno, na bigyan kami ng biyaya ng Panginoon.”
(Because my wife and I have been together for 10 years and we still have no child. I am praying each year that I will be included in the Black Nazarene procession, that we are given God’s blessings.)
Despite years of still unanswered prayer, Husayan remains unfazed. He said he would continue his pledge for as long as he has the strength to go along with the sea of devotees who all want to touch the Black Nazarene image and have a piece of the miracle.
“Hangga’t malakas pa ako, hangga’t kaya pang umakyat sa andas,” Husayan promised.
(As long as I’m still strong and I can still go up the carriage.)
Her father’s influence, meanwhile, has impelled Sakura Pascal to make sure that she turns up early every January 9 to join other family members in a pilgrimage, along with their replica of the Black Nazarene, to manifest their devotion.
On Thursday, the 14-year-old walked three hours from Balintawak in Quezon City to Quiapo Church in Manila.
She had no special prayers, but she said the Traslacion has fascinated her since 2016.
“Tatlong oras po kami naglakad,” Pascal said. “Simula ng alas-tres ng umaga, naglalakad na kami.”
(We walked for three hours. We started our journey at 3 a.m.)
But for Rolando Francisco Jr., 30, neither influence nor faith originally pushed him to join the Traslacion.
It’s his fourth time to attend the huge religious gathering this year, but he started his tradition out of curiosity about the Black Nazarene.
“Nung unang taon ko, medyo hirap pa akong sumalang sa mga lubid, saka sa pagsalang sa Andas,” said Francisco, who hails from Norzagaray, Bulacan.
(During my first year, I had a hard time to hold on to the rope, and climb up the carriage.)
The struggle and pain that come with joining Traslacion didn’t matter, according to him.
“Ang pinakaimportante lang ay ‘yung sumamba ka, manalig ka. (The most important thing is that you pray, believe),” he added.
He then revealed that he brought a replica of the Black Nazarene for the first time this year.
“Nung dati po, kwintas lang, tapos bimpo tapos pinapapahid na lang po namin sa mga sanay nang umakyat,” he said. “Ngayon, may replica na para mabasbasan siya.”
(Before, I only brought with me Black Nazarene necklace then a towel, which we asked those who are already expert on climbing the carriage, to just rub on the Black Nazarene image for us. Now, I brought my own replica of the Black Nazarene so it could be blessed.)
Francisco further said: “Tuloy-tuloy lang po, hangga’t nabubuhay pa ako, (I’ll just continue this as long as I am alive).”
Edited by KGA
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