Wednesday, January 09, 2008



posted by Señor Enrique at 9:45 PM


Blogger armovil said...


Another great picture! How do you feel the fiesta and the avalanche of people?

January 09, 2008 10:48 PM  

Blogger pusa said...

nice photos! so you have covered the procession, i assumed you were fine and didnt get hurt, heard 2 died =(

btw is there a show or something, a stage in front of the church? (8th and 9th photo)

January 09, 2008 11:15 PM  

Blogger  gmirage said...

SenorE, I've always been open with my beliefs naman...I think I'm one of those you said finds it absurd.

I read in a forum that '2 patay at 30 ang sugatan.' How true? =(

January 10, 2008 5:43 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi G. Mirage,

I hypothetically used a possible perspective of a group in the other end of the religious spectrum. But truth be told, what I said reflected my own view that I nurtured during the first couple of years when I've returned to Manila. However, that has all changed since then.

For many local Pinoys, their faith in the Nazareno help them sustain a buoyant spirit despite the hardest of times. And most astonishingly, the belief that the Nazareno would answer their prayers manifests itself. Hence, the number of devotees seems to only grow exponentially.

I'd also like to think that such a huge assembly of kindred spirits -- searching for better health or auspicious opportunities or effective solutions to their respective dilemma -- has a healing effect to each and everyone.

This whole scene only strengthens my faith and trust in God. It's quite amazing, really.

January 10, 2008 7:11 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Technically speaking, Pusa, I am yet to cover the procession itself. These photos were taken between the hours of 9am and 12noon when Plaza Miranda was already filled, while an endless stream of devotees and kept flowing into the area. The procession started around 2pm from what I heard but I had already left the vicinity around that time.

That wasn't really a stage (rooftop of the archway or whatever you call it at the main door of the church). I think they've installed a giant TV monitor and speakers for the day on it.

There were also plenty of the black Nazarene statues owned by various groups from all over the metropolis (third pic). They later joined the procession behind the carriage that carried the church's statue.

January 10, 2008 7:22 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I hate crowds Armovil and this include those of the malls' on weekends. The last time I was in a huge crowd -- shoulder-to-shoulder -- was during my early twenties at rock concert events in New York and New Jersey stadiums. And yesterday at Plaza Miranda was the first time I was in the midst of such crowd since then. However, I felt no sense of anxiety or discomfort at all.

Yesterday felt like Christmastime when I was a kid. A certain spiritual mood permeated the whole scene. Although most seemed more solemn yesterday than boisterously festive like last Monday's parade of the replicas, a sense of brotherhood dominated the scene. It was strange. I was comfortably roaming in and around the Plaza Miranda area through the thick crowd, yet somehow I felt safe with my camera and all.

There were reports of deaths and injuries but thsoe may have been created by an intense desire by some people to get near and touch a part of the carriage that carried the statue of the Nazareno. There were also a couple of petty thievery reports.

But for the most part, it was a feast that I'd go to next year because it reminded me of the wondrous essence of the fiestas I experienced when I was very young growing up in Manila.

I should also mention that without realizing it, through the years of gallivanting in the Quiapo area since I moved back here from New York, I've gotten to know some people -- residents and merchants -- that have become friends. So, the early morning was spent taking these photographs, while the rest of the day I spent visiting with and having a few conversation and laughs with these folks. I didn't drink, though, but munched on some foods they offered ... hehehe.

Perhaps, next time I will cover the main procession :)

January 10, 2008 7:52 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

I guess crowds' general feelings differ in the occasions/places they are in. Kaya there is the phenonmenon called pandemonium where a surging energy of fear attacks person to person making a whole catastrophic whole. The power of mind is often reminded us by spiritual gurus: negative begets negative-positive begets positive. So when one is a sports event, for instance, the emanating energy is that of competition and so for malls, the energy of materialism. Churches are powerful places because of the spiritual fervor daily contributed by all the praying manangs and manongs. I read very many years ago when a church down in the Visayas was bombed and several were killed. The priest had to close the church down not just because of the incident but to cleanse the place spiritually as well.

January 10, 2008 8:59 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

FAITH. The only word I can come up with as I view these pics.

I am reminded of that time too, (1992) when I also joined a throng of people going up the hills of Agoo, La Union for the supposedly apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I didn't see the dancing sun (prelude of the apparition); neither the claimed apparition. but I surely felt some unexplainable feeling of upliftment as the people waved their handkerchiefs in the air. I had goose bumps all over me. And whether it was a hoax or not, I didn't really care. I believed; that's what mattered. That's the true miracle. :)

Incidentally, my hubby's clan has this replica of the Black Nazarene. Each year, it is passed on from one family to another, and a novena is held nine days before the actual feast of the Nazareno. On the 9th of January, all other relatives are invited to the house of the host family for celebration. I learned this statue of the Black Nazarene had participated in Quiapo processions in previous years.

January 10, 2008 9:39 AM  

Blogger Oman said...

Fantastic pics senor. I feel like I have been there thru your pics (without the heat and the crowds).
I admire those panatikos, they took great pains year after year not minding that they could be hurt by the crowd and the heat. I just hope that the Black Nazarene grant their prayers and keep them and their loved ones safe from all kinds of calamities.

January 10, 2008 10:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How was the euphoria of the event Eric? I like the crowd, it made the whole event exciting and awesome!


January 10, 2008 10:44 AM  

Blogger pusa said...

oh, i thought umaga ang procession, hapon pala ang start, kaya pala at 7pm marami pa rin tao! kasi as early as 8am marami na tao dagsa ng quiapo, and even some of our neighbors bring image when they walk (barefoot) from our place to quiapo

January 10, 2008 12:20 PM  

Blogger Gita Asuncion said...

great set of photos, SenorE! as ever! thanks for posting them for us to see.

January 10, 2008 2:08 PM  

Blogger Gita Asuncion said...

by the way, did you dare bring your camera that day in that maddening crowd?

January 10, 2008 2:11 PM  

Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your images, I felt I was able to celebrate with them in spirit :) as I have never come to the Black Nazarene Fiesta.

I will quote M. Enriquez--for the non-believers no amount of reason is enough to explain why. But of the believers, no explanation needed.

Amazed at the images esp the bare foot "namamanata". Ganun pala yun kaya pala most of the injuries where from broken glasses as in "na-tibo ang paa".

One pilgrim says it is a way to show his faith. it is a trial of sorts. And he openly declared he will come back again next year


January 10, 2008 3:59 PM  

Blogger Mari said...

These photos reminded me once more of those fiesta days when I would go to school and tried hard to avoid being swallowed by the crowd. Now, how I wish I was there to watch and feel the euphora of the mass.

Thanks, Senor Enrique.

January 10, 2008 4:26 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You know, Mari, I don't remember the Quiapo Fiesta was such a big deal when I was a kid. But what I remember was the stage in Plaza Miranda in which they would present Chinese opera in the evening. My father used to take me to see it.

It was only when I returned to Manila after a long absence when they started talking about the massive crowd of the Black Nazarene procession.

January 10, 2008 9:12 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

You should have seen the puzzled look on some of these men as I took photos of their bare feet, Daisy. Wouldn't be surprised if they suspected I was afflicted with foot fetish or something ... hehehe.

But the bare feet was supposedly to prevent injuries when stepping on other people's feet as shoes tend to inflict. Downside of this is they'd end up stepping on some broken bottles or horse manure.

But I agree with M. Enriquez. One must really witness the scene in person to appreciate its intensity.

January 10, 2008 9:17 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I brought along my point & shoot, Gita since I wanted to take more human interest shots. Besides, this was my first time and wasn't sure if I'd manage to snake through the crowd with my heavier dSLR. But now that I'm somewhat familiar with the entire scene, I will bring my dSLR next year.

Glad you enjoyed these photographs! Thanks you.

January 10, 2008 9:21 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

From what I heard, Pusa, the crowd started streaming in at Plaza Miranda as early as 4am. And the procession started at around 2pm.

Many people brought their own images of the Black Nazarene, while some barangay groups brought in their huge statues on carriages.

January 10, 2008 9:24 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

It was intense, Kyels, but at the same time subdued. As for the procession itself, it might have been more boisterous; however, I had already left the area when it happened. Nonetheless, it was incredible.

January 10, 2008 9:26 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thank you very much, Lawstude.

Yes, I too, pray that these peoples' wishes get granted. It's truly astounding the great sacrifice and risk they would endure in their belief that their prayers would be heard and answered.

January 10, 2008 9:30 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's an interesting tradition that your family observe, Rhoda. I've a feeling that some folks who bring along theirs when they join the procession and later blessed may be doing the same thing as your family does.

Very well put, Rhoda, about faith in a collective setting. It can certainly be euphoric. The power of the believing, as they say.

January 10, 2008 9:36 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That reminds me, Bernadette, of a church in Manhattan that was renovated and turned into a discoteque. It had to go to a lengthy process or ritual before it can be redesigned as a night club.

Yes, the excitement of being in a large arena or setting can influence certain euphoria that could lead, at times, to miracle-like healing. I think this is somewhat a common phenomenon in some religious tent revival meetings in the States.

January 10, 2008 9:40 PM  

Blogger Photowalker said...

Wonderful shots.

I was able to go there at 6 in the evening and there still a lot of people.

It was my first time to go the the feast of the Black Nazarene and my first time to shoot in a crowd.

Hopefully next year I can go there during the procession.

January 11, 2008 1:46 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

My friend attended mass much later than you had gone to, Photowalker. Also, the procession came back to the church almost 10pm that night so one can imagine the crowd that still hung around the vicinity until very late.

Yes, let's all get together next year to shoot the procession ... hehehe.

January 11, 2008 7:22 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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