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Family at Black Nazarene’s ‘pahalik’ prays for good health, love, peace

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 10:43 AM January 09, 2016

A perfect portrait of “a family that prays together stays together.”

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The Javellana family was among the millions of Black Nazarene devotees who joined the traditional “pahalik” or kissing of the 400-year-old statue.

READ: More than 23,000 Black Nazarene devotees flock to ‘Pahalik’

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The family went early to Quirino Grandstand on Friday and camped out in the area to hear the midnight mass and join the vigil for the Black Nazarene.

Josephine Javellana, 62, said she has been a devotee of the Black Nazarene since 2007.

READ: Number of Black Nazarene devotees at ‘pahalik’ rises to 40,000

“Tuwing Sabado, nagsisimba ako sa Quiapo. Ako lang naman ang nagsisimba pero nahikayat ko yung buong pamilya ko,” Javellana said.

(Every Saturday, I go to Quiapo (church). I attend the mass alone but I was able to persuade them (to come here).)

Amid the problems she had face in life, Javellana said she found peace with the Black Nazarene.

READ: ‘Bigger and bigger’ crowds adoring Nazarene prompt early ‘Pahalik’

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“Doon ako nakatagpo ng kapayapaan,” she said.

(I was able to find peace with the Black Nazarene.)

She recalled an incident that happened nine years ago, when was she was in a difficult situation after she encountered problems with her business.

“Meron akong napakabigat na problema na talagang parang hindi ko na kaya hanggang sa makarating ako sa simbahan ng Quiapo,” she said.

(I had a huge problem to the point that it seemed I could no longer bore it until I reached Quiapo church.)

She said she had bouncing checks and her business started to fall. She was sued in court and had no one to turn to as her business partners started to lose trust in her.

She said she found herself crying inside the church.

“Doon ako nakatagpo sa Kanya ng kapayapaan. Ang pag-ibig at pagmamahal na ibinigay Niya sa akin ang nag-solve sa problema ko,” she said.

(I was able to find peace with the (Black Nazarene). The love He gave me solved my problem.)

From then on, she said she vowed to be a devotee of the Black Nazarene. Yearly, Javellana and her family, including her in-laws and grandchildren troop to the Quirino Grandstand for the pahalik.

She promised to continue her devotion as long as she lives and physically able.

“Hanggang ako’y nabubuhay at malakas, hindi ako magsasawang pumunta sa Kanya, yun ang ipinangako ko sa sarili ko,” she said.

(As long as I live and physically able, I won’t get sick and tired to go to Him, that’s my promise to myself.)

A family reunion

Bringing with them a tent and sleeping bags, the Javellana family stayed overnight at Quirino Grandstand to hear the midnight mass.

The family brought with them food items as they consider the feast of the Black Nazarene as a family reunion.

“Nagiging reunion na namin ito. Masaya kami,” Javellana said.

(This has been our reunion. We are happy.)

Al Bantillan, Javellana’s son-in-law, said he was not a Black Nazarene devotee. However, the devotion of his mother-in-law encouraged him to be a devotee as well.

“Si Mama talaga ang nag-udyok sa amin,” Bantillan said.

(Mother was the one who really persuaded us.)

As a family, Bantillan said they always pray for good health, love and peace.

“Ang ipinapanalangin ko lang palagi ay ang maging healthy yung family ko,” he said.

(My only prayer for all the time is my family to be healthy.)

Bantillan hopes his children will also be Black Nazarene devotees.

The Feast of the Black Nazarene is expected to drew more than nine million Catholic devotees this year. RAM

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TAGS: Black Nazarene, Catholic, Church, devotee, Devotion, faith, Quirino Grandstand, Religion
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