What’s happening during the Feast of the Black Nazarene? - Isla Story

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Monday, January 7, 2019

What’s happening during the Feast of the Black Nazarene?

On Wednesday, January 9, 2019, one of the most revered object and the biggest religious event in the Philippines will once again draw millions of devout Catholics from all around the country. First time attending or hearing about this celebration? Here’s what you should know. 
The Black Nazarene is a life-sized wooden carving of Jesus for his crucifixion while bearing a cross. It was carved in Mexico then brought in the Philippines in 1606.

Annually, Manileños celebrates a tradition called Traslación (“transfer” or “passage”) which re-enacts the statue being moved in 1787 from Intramuros to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (also known as Quiapo Church).
Take it from us, there’s gonna be a mamoth crowd so it’s a must to know where the procession may pass through. The Black Nazarene will be moved to Quirino Grandstand beforehand as the walk will start at around 5:00am. From there, it will make its way back to Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene. Expectedly, it’ll arrive late at night on the same day or the following morning already.  

If you happen to be in Manila during this event, there’s nothing to worry about as the government is extending its full effort to keep everyone safe and we’re here to give you some notes for you to be prepared for this upcoming event:

To give way to the flock of million devotees, the mayor of Manila declared January 09, 2019 as a holiday in the whole city. But, exempted in the said announcement are those working in the disaster and risk reduction management, health and sanitation, and maintaining peace and order such as security personnel and traffic enforcers.

If you got some errands to attend to during that day, better reschedule them as early as possible. You wouldn’t want to get caught up in the big crowd right? And in addition, mobile signals may be jammed around the area and drones will be banned as an extra precautionary measure.

Assessments in some parts of the city where the Black Nazarene may pass through will also be conducted by government agencies up until the event itself takes place. Roads or bridges that seem unable to bear the weight of the crowd will not be passed through for a solemn procession or traslacion.
It’s no doubt why lots of people attend this huge celebration; the Black Nazarene is believed to be miraculous, granting good health, and protection from terminal sickness. Some don’t mind walking up to 6-kilometers and in up to 22 hours barefoot to show empathy and imitate Christ’s walk to Golgotha. Attendees are all in full hope that they’ll get a chance to kiss or wipe their towels to the miraculous image.
Given that the event will have numerous attendees, it is inevitable that there may be minor and major cases of incidents or injuries, that’s why there are medical personnel on stand by to handle such situations quickly. Senior citizens, pregnant women, children, disabled, and even intoxicated people are also discouraged from joining the parade. So even if you’re just a mere spectator, you better be extra careful, mindful of your things, and attentive to your surroundings. 

Overall, the whole traslacion shows how strong the Christian faith of each Filipinos is and how one’s devotion can touch and inspire the whole world. And to witness such gathering of millions is something you don’t commonly see everyday. 


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