Traslacion 2024: Youthful tales of unwavering faith | Inquirer News

Traslacion 2024: Youthful tales of unwavering faith

/ 05:00 PM January 09, 2024

A child joins the procession of the Black Nazarene while being carried on top of his father’s shoulders.

A child joins the procession of the Black Nazarene while being carried on top of his father’s shoulders.



MANILA, Philippines — John Nazareth celebrated his twelfth birth anniversary on Tuesday by holding onto the metal pole of a parked fire truck at Casal Street in Manila, trying not to get swept by a throng of Black Nazarene devotees.


John, who looked significantly small for his age, climbed the vehicle to get a better view of his namesake.

He got separated from his family and friends, he said, but he remained stern.

He knows the procession route better than anyone else.

“I just want to thank Him,” the 12-year-old devotee said. “This is my religious vow.”

John wore a yellow Nazareno shirt and protected himself from the light rain using a thin towel wrapped over his head.

He was not concerned about getting sick. “It’s a blessing,” he said, referring to the rain.


The teenager was among the thousands of young Filipinos who joined the Traslacion, or the procession of the Black Nazarene from the Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church, on Tuesday.


Some of them were first-timers who wanted to experience what it would be like to be a part of the yearly tradition.

“It’s very crowded and exhausting,” 20-year-old Zairen Advincula said.

Both of his hands were on his friend’s shoulders to prevent getting separated from his group. 

Zairen was mere meters away from the carriage or “andas” carrying the Black Nazarene.

He appeared to have been guarding a replica image of their own.

While he knows that the procession would be tiring, he said that he holds tradition on a level higher than his own well-being. 

“My father used to do this [procession], but now he is abroad. I’m just continuing the tradition,” he said. Like John Nazareth, Zairen celebrated his birthday on Tuesday.

“This is my devotion – to celebrate my birthday this way.” 

A vow to serve

Behind Zairen was 24-year-old Ranzelle Brao. Tuesday’s procession was also his first in Quiapo.

“I have vowed to serve the Father,” Ranzelle said. Both he and Zairen are altar servers at the Santa Isabel Parish Church in Malolos, Bulacan.

They said that apart from keeping tradition, they felt compelled to join this year’s Traslacion. “As altar servers, this is our religious duty,” Ranzelle mentioned.

The barefooted youth said they wished for a strong body and the Black Nazarene to continue protecting their parents.

“We wish for our parents to live longer so that we can be with them for a long time,” Ranzelle said. They aimed to walk with the procession until it reached Quiapo Church.

Family affair

Walking beside the altar servers were families who brought children along despite the rainy weather.

Fathers hoisted children on their shoulders. Mothers put their hands on their children’s heads as they tried to cover them from the drizzle.

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The scenes at Traslacion show that perhaps more than a religious event, the annual procession plays a huge role in shaping the lives of the young.



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