Monday, January 07, 2008


While Plaza Miranda expects the onslaught of hundreds of thousands of devotees who will pay homage to the Black Nazarene on Wednesday, January 9th, the environmental group EcoWaste Coalition, on the other hand, is expecting tons of plastic bottles and food wastes to be left behind in their wake.

Manny Calonzo, secretary of the EcoWaste Coalition, has led an initiative to request Msgr. Jose Clemente Ignacio of Quiapo Church and some of the barangay captains in the area to urge residents and visitors not to spoil the feast of the Black Nazarene with litter as what happened after the recent New Year revelry when piles of trash were left scattered all over Plaza Miranda.

Several barangay chairpersons, including Josie Dee (Brgy. 306), Tessie Sharief (Brgy. 384), Rudy Chua (Brgy. 392), Rosie Ruz (Brgy. 393) and Goyang Lipana (Brgy. 394), have agreed to put up EcoWaste's banners to remind the public to care for the environment during the festivities.

Every year, the Black Nazarene statue is placed on a gilded carriage and taken through various streets of Quiapo. It is led by a huge procession participated by a throng of Catholic devotees who walk in bare feet. The statue itself, which is made of blackwood and handcrafted in Mexico, dates back to the 17th Century when it was transported to the Philippines aboard a Spanish Galleon.

This festival is considered to be one of the largest festivals in the country. It observes the death and affliction of Christ. Devotees who are able to touch the Black Nazarene with their handkerchiefs or face towels, believe that they will get their prayers answered by the Black Nazarene.


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:42 AM


Blogger pusa said...

i heard that they are not going to do a procession this time.. is it true? btw, the quiapo church is my entry for today as well =)

January 07, 2008 9:55 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

I was once "trapped" in Quiapo during the actual Nazarene procession. It was just so amazing to see sooo many groups of men converge in such a small plaza! There were even, as I recall, as young as 9 year olds (of course, in the peripheries) attending. And i thought religiosity is mainly a female activity. It was just so memorable for me.

January 07, 2008 10:15 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

Regardless of the deeply-held traditions connected with this annual chaotic celebration, I am sad to say that the Church heirarchy ought to exercise more control and direction in the conduct of this celebration.

Like bringing it up to modernity and even incorporating its modern teachings and beliefs in the conduct of the festivities.

I feel sadness looking at the behavior of the throngs as some bad throwback to a distant and crude past of religious practice.

January 07, 2008 11:25 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Aling Enriquez, a boxing coach at FEU, riding the carousel,yelling and acting like a maniac in a futile attempt to maintain a semblance of control over the chaotic crowd of devotees. It amazed me that only a few participants get trampled or seriously hurt, in the organized chaos.

January 07, 2008 12:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree there should be some measures to be adopted to make the feast more orderly. And the responsibility lies on the parish authorities. Quite ironic that devotees have to venerate God (who himself is a symbol of peace) in such a chaotic way.

But like bertN, I am also amazed that there are never any reported major injuries from the unruly crowd. But then again - we should not wait for someone to perish before acting on the situation.

January 07, 2008 5:34 PM  

Blogger Unknown said...

It's scary to witness the mob of devotees during the feast of the Black Nazarene. Let's pray it won't be tragic this dead bodies and broken limbs after the procession. And it's great that there's an environmental group raising awareness on waste management. I brought my nephews and cousins to Luneta on Christmas Day, and you wouldn't believe the trash scattered all over the park! :(

January 07, 2008 6:49 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's really a shame, Luna. For some odd reason, I couldn't understand how some people could simply leave their trash anywhere they feel like it. Unadulterated littering could definitely spoil other people's pleasure of a public park.

I, too, hope no tragedy is reported during this year's procession. I might go early in the day to take some human interest pics, but I don't think I'll stick around for the procession.

January 07, 2008 9:09 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's right, Rhoda ... I wonder how come not many more fatal accidents occur in such massive and chaotic procession. But then again, thank God it's minimal.

Crowd control. Perhaps, they ought to bring in some consultants from the NYPD. We could certainly use their expertise.

January 07, 2008 9:13 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I am yet to gain the courage to cover this feast, BertN. I am really not as intrepid as my friend Sidney. However, I have some friends who offered to set me up in a house right on the procession's route. Only problem is, the procession will get to that area after the sun has set. It's not that easy to photograph nighttime processions.

January 07, 2008 9:17 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I completely agree with you, Amadeo. I think it's time that both the church and city officials devise certain measures for a more orderly observance of this festival.

It's just fever pitch madness.

January 07, 2008 9:19 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I don't think women will survive such procession, Bernadette, though I've read some try anyway. But taking along the kids in such perilous situations is just simply crazy.

January 07, 2008 9:23 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's what I heard also, Pusa, but I've a feeling the people are not going to like it. Let's see what happens.

By the way, that's some write up you did of the Black Nazarene history. Enjoyed reading it :)

January 07, 2008 9:25 PM  

Blogger ScroochChronicles said...

The thing that keeps popping up in my head is a vision of VP Noli de Castro among the throngs of people. Every year there's a video/picture of him holding the rope and getting pushed every which way by the mob.

BTW, I think you made a typo. Di ba the feast is on Jan. 9?

January 07, 2008 9:59 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard that this procession is very nice and somehow grand in its own way. It's amazing that Philippines have processions like these. Really, really interesting!


January 07, 2008 10:39 PM  

Blogger -= dave =- said...

Ah, it's just like the Traslacion of our Peñafrancia Fiesta--the crowd, the noise, the smell.

As for the trash, it can be minimized if the vendors don't sell wares with throw-away packaging, plastics especially.

January 08, 2008 12:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello eric, happy new year! thanks so much for leaving a comment on my blog, that was very nice of you. i hope this 2008 would bring you lots of blessings and good health.

and speaking of quiapo and the nazareno. my dad is a black nazarene devotee. so i've experience being squashed when they had the parade (the first and last). my dad would swear that his faith have saved him many times in combat, as he use to be in the military. as for quiapo church, it would be nice if it gets cleaned a bit and people would help by keeping it clean. it's quite pathetic, that it's the house of the Lord and yet the surrounding's filthy. right? just my two cents =)

January 08, 2008 12:47 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

My pleasure, Nell. I always enjoy reading your entries :)

Yes ... many folks I"ve spoken to swear that the Nazareno answers their prayers. And according to church officials, the number of devotees only gets bigger every year. Amazing, isn't it?

January 08, 2008 6:29 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

My mother's family talked about the feast of Penafrancia whenever they'd get together. Being from Albay, this feast muts have left many fond memories in them, Dave.

Sidney, I think, attends it every year. His wife is from Sorsogon. I have got to explore that region.

Anyway, I think the massive crowd of Quiapo during its feast is much greater than any of our local festivals.

January 08, 2008 6:34 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I'm really tempted to witness the feast for myself, Kyels, but lack the heart for it because of the overwhelming crowd that it draws.

January 08, 2008 6:38 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thank you for pointing it out, Scrooch. I really need a proofreader.

Yes, I do believe they're expecting Noli de Castro to once again show up for the procession. Who knows? The Nazareno might grant his wish to become the next president of the Philippines ... hahaha.

January 08, 2008 6:46 AM  

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