I intend to join the feast of Black Nazarene this year but unfortunately that would not be a possibility as I currently have a stupid chickenpox which started a couple of days ago. Bummer! All my plans were totally ruined including the Sinulog Festival. I seriously wish I had it when I was younger. For the people who had a chickenpox, I bet you know exactly what I am talking about.
Every year millions of people from all over the country and from different walks of life visit Manila just to be part of the procession of the Black Nazarene. Many people believe that when you join the procession and have the chance to touch the wooden statue, their lives will get better.
On January 9th of 2012, I was very fortunate to witness the most spectacular religious events in the history of the Philippines. The event was considered the longest procession ever in the Philippine history . It took 22 hours to bring the Black Nazarene from Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church. The procession began at around 8 a.m. Monday and finished at around 6 a.m. The parade was interrupted beacause the wheels of the carriage carrying the Black Nazarene broke and one of the ropes used to pull it snapped.
During the feast of the Black Nazarene, thousands of barefoot men and women participate at the annual procession. All the time during the procession, one would hear people yelling “Viva Señor”.
This practice has been observed for many years by the Filipino Catholics. And I strongly believe that with their faith with Jesus Christ will bring Peace , good health , good life , happiness , prosperity and love.
For many years, the statue has been placed on a gilded carriage | carosa . People from different walks of life come here to get a chance to get close enough to see the image or receive blessings or miracles. A replica of the original Black Nazarene is used and paraded on the street and the original stays inside the church.
According to the CBCP website, the procession route of replicas of the Black Nazarene will be from Plaza Miranda, it will turn left to Quezon Blvd., right to Recto Avenue, left to Loyola St., right to Bilibid Viejo through Puyat St., left to Guzman St. (Mendoza St.), right to Hidalgo St., left to Barbosa St., right to Globo de Oro St., right to Palanca St., and right to Villalobos St., through Plaza Miranda.
The ‘Traslacion 2013’ procession of the Black Nazarene, meanwhile, will be from Quirino Grandstand left to Katigbak Drive through Padre Burgos St., left to Taft Avenue through McArthur Bridge, right to Palanca St. through under Quezon Bridge, left to Quezon Blvd., right to Arlegui St., right to Fraternal St., right to Vergara St., left to Duque de Alba St., left to Castillejos St., left to Farnecio St., right to Arlegui St., left to Nepomuceno St., left to Aguila St., right to Carcer St., right to Hidalgo St. through Plaza del Carmen, left to Bilibid Viejo through Puyat St., left to Guzman St., right to Hidalgo St., left to Barbosa St., right to Globo de Oro St. through under Quezon Bridge, right to Palanca St., right to Villalobos St. through Plaza Miranda and ingress to Quiapo Church.
Meanwhile here’s is the Schedule of activities
January 7 – 3 p.m. – Black Nazarene|procession of all replicas
January 8 – 1 p.m. – Black Nazarene|kissing of the replica
7 p.m. – The Quirino Grandstand vigil
January 9 – 12 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Vigil
6 a.m. – Holy Mass|celebrated by Manila Archibishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
Safety tips during the feast of Black Nazarene
1. Bring umbrella, cap or anything to cover from rain or sun. Last year, we did not realize our sacrifices. We stayed at Quezon bridge with no food, water and no access to a bathroom. Indeed it was such an event that everyone should participate so be it as an observer or a plain devotee.
2. Bring a snack or food to eat and clean water to drink during the procession. Although there are food vendors around, you just have to make sure it’s clean to avoid food poisoning.
3. Wear a comfortable clothing.
4. Bring your medicine kit. When you are in the procession, the smell of the crowd would be amazing so prepare to either faint or simply have a headache.
5. Gadgets are not allowed. Of course I am kidding. You can bring your gadgets but be very extra careful, this is the precious moment when thieves are on loose. I would strongly suggest you leave it at home as it might add up to your burden when you get lost them in the ocean of devotees of the Black Nazarene.
6. Just bring enough cash. Period.
7. Be very early. If you intend to shoot at the procession, I strongly recommend to get there as early as possible. Trust me, images with different subjects are up for grabs.
8. Know where you are at for easy access. It would be a lot easier if you are familiar with the destination.
Authorities said an estimated 11 million devotees are expected to join this year’s procession of Black Nazarene.