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Celebrated every 9th of January, the Feast of the Black Nazarene is a wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ held to be miraculous by many Filipino devotees. Its original carver is an anonymous Mexican carpenter, and the image was transported by a galleon from Acapulco, Mexico by the Augustinian Recollect Missionaries on May 31, 1606. The image is currently enshrined in the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila.
Roman Catholic tradition holds that the Black Nazarene came from a boat that caught fire, turning it from its original white into black or charred complexion.
During the annual public procession, only the body of the Black Nazarene is displayed in procession to the public, while the original head portion of the statue is retained in the Basilica of the Black Nazarene within the high altars of the church. The Black Nazarene is also famously noted for its devotees who walk the procession streets barefoot, without shoes or sandals as to imitate Jesus Christ on his way to Mount Calvary.
The VR was taken atop the cover of the underpass in Lawton after an excruciating wait of 7 hours. With the crowd estimated to be over 2 million, this is the only spot along the route where you can closely shoot and observe safely away from the highly charged emotional crowd. With only corns and ice creams for sustenance, and little water, least one runs with frequent urination, we waited on the rooftop from 7AM until the procession arrived at around 2PM.
Even from our height, you can feel the lack of breathable air below, the parched sweats, the fury of cries, and almost the smell of fallen dead skins as bare feet scraped against hot pavement.
The sight of the sea of devotees as they scampered, jousted, and struggled for a chance to pull the caroza or to touch the Black Nazarene can only be describe as one of “religious frenzy.”
VR taken on January 9, 2010. With thanks to the guys at Manila Bulletin for using their ladder. Source: wikipedia.org. The author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org