Traslacion De Nazareno 2015

Posted: January 9, 2015 in Confessions, Heritage Conservation Society Youth, Trips, Visits, and Explorations

More pictures here: Traslacion De Nazareno 2015

 

I also want to share to you these amazing works by none other than Mr. Fung Yu:

http://www.360journals.com/360/Nazarene/2015/nazarene2015.html

A lot of things may be said about this festival. Most of them I do not want to touch and discuss anymore.

One thing is for sure for me. The devotees of the Black Nazarene showed their force of faith. A combination of beauty in chaos, solemnity, resilience, that have spanned decades in practice.

What it did for me? It satisfied my curiosity. I went there not as a devout Catholic (for I am not a devout Catholic). I came there as an observer, and a fascinated one I was.

As much as I would want to give an explanation and my comment as to how this undoubtedly unique Filipino festival is being held, I can only give you pictures and let them answer your questions for me.

As what my colleague Berniemack Arellano, the man behind Habagat Central had put it, it had a “Gradual increase, a bursting climax at the Poon Nazareno, and then a sudden drop of energy towards solemnity, then cleaning up the mess. It is an interesting anthropological study to look at on the procession’s nature opposing that of Cebu’s solemn and lengthy foot and fluvial procession.”

It was surreal. We waited from 8am at the balcony of the National Museum, and people were already walking to and fro the Andas, incessantly. We were lucky enough to be allowed to have our station there as it offered the best vantage point that day. The Padre Burgos Street was so full of human activities. We had at least a couple of short snacks, one full lunch, and a few combined bottles and glasses of energy drink, coffee, water and soda before we saw the head of the Andas at around 1pm.

And then that beautiful chaotic moment came. You can’t help but have goosebumps, as people wave their white towels, clap their hands, shout their faith. Some devotees are climbing up the Andas with full fervor and determination to at least touch a part of the image, but some were even luckier to kiss the cross, or touch the face of the Jesus Nazareno.

When the Andas reached the part of the street where I was directly standing at, time seemed to have stopped. I was staring at the Andas, and it captivated me for an ample number of seconds before I realized that I am holding my camera and had to shoot photos.

True enough, as what the broadcasts have mentioned in the previous years, I saw how solemn the rear part of the Traslacion is compared to the very chaotic scene at the front where the rope pulling the Andas is being held by the devotees. For almost an hour, you will see what seems to be a complete disorder and confusion. Ocassionally you could hear the devotees shouting “Viva! Viva!” as if doing a warcry to rally their spirits whenever they get tired. And everytime the Hijos atop the Andas blow their whistle three times as their signal, a wave of devotees from the back run straight toward the Andas like a mini stampede to push it forward.

And then right after, when the Andas has already moved forth, you’ll see a few meters back from the Andas, the females, young and old, together with some elder males, and children who could not be in front due to their frail physical conditions, are praying together. And it was magical. The Andas will bring your adrenaline out, and then leave you there just like that and will make you wonder just how on earth did that kind of silence follow the rowdy crowd in front? Imagine watching a firework display that just goes out just when you are about hyped up and ready for the finale – but in a good, solemn way.

The entire Traslacion covered the streets from the Finance Rd, going straight to Padre Burgos, and it took almost two long hours before it reached the part of the City Hall. Kudos to the MMDA street sweepers for their good job of making sure that the streets where the Traslacion is passing through are kept clean after.

I always tell myself that I am an agnostic. Probably because that is what is convenient for me. But at that moment, when I was witnessing with my very own eyes the devotion of my fellow Filipinos, I told myself that this is the best time to go out of my comfort zone, feel the vibe and savor the moment where one’s strongest faith is displayed. A spiritual pat on the back, if you may.

Call it what you want. A miracle. Fanaticism. Display of faith. Craziness. For me, it was just surreal. I cannot judge the people who do the “Panata sa Nazareno”. Neither can I say that being in there made me a little bit more holy. But I have satiated my curiosity. And I think I’m good with that.

Some even say the event itself is over-hyped by the media? Now, that’s another story. You’ve got to experience it for yourself. 🙂

#Traslacion
#Nazareno2015
#HeritagePH

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