Friday, January 9, 2009

VIVA Black Nazarene

Today, January 09, is the big day of the Miraculous Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila . Huge numbers of bare-foot men and women will go to join again the procession. The procession of the Black Nazarene takes place every year on January 9 and the Novena day is every Friday. The statue of the Black Nazarene is a life-sized, dark colored wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ has been placed on a golden red carriage every year and pulled through the streets of Quiapo by male devotees clad in maroon. People who have touched the Nazarene are reported to have sometimes been healed of their diseases. Catholic people from all over Manila wanted to get close enough to the Nazarene and wishing to receive a miracle. They also throw white towels or handkerchiefs to the people who guard the statue and ask them to rub on the statue in hopes of carrying away some miracles. When I was living in Quiapo, I never joined the procession because I am scared if I get in a stampede. Every year somebody dies because they were pushed or maybe they can’t breath because they were very closed in to each other, even the ants cant get in. And even if it is the big day of the Miraculous Black Nazarene, some people are still not scared to do bad things like pickpocketing. They take advantage that people are busy and concentrating their devotions to the Nazarene.

The statue was brought to Manila by a Spanish priest in 1607 on board a ship. The ship caught fire, burning the image, thus its name. Though the image was burnt, the people decided to preserve and honor it. Since then, miraculous events have been reported by those who touch the image.

Well, I am here now in the province of Davao , and I am sure I will miss again the day of Black Nazarene. Maybe I will just watch on TV on January 9 here because TV stations don’t want to miss also this big day in Quiapo, Manila .