When You Follow the Light…

The Black Nazarene is a holy life-sized iconic statue of Jesus Christ carrying the cross to Calvary Hill in the Philippines. The descriptive name is taken as a result of the original statue being burnt black aboard the ship that carried it from Mexico during an expedition. The statue is well-renowned in the Philippines and is believed to be miraculous and a religious pilgrimage to many Filipino Catholics. Every year it is celebrated on January 9 in a huge procession where the statue is carried through the streets of Manila and attended by millions of devoted Filipino Catholics. Afterwards, it is housed in the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church).

So devoted are the followers, that many replicas of the Black Nazarene are made and carried through the various parishes around the country in a sign of continuous religious commitment. On this Sunday, we came across this procession near the Pasig riverfront in Mandaluyong City and followed the procession as the statue was carried through the narrow streets of the local barangay..

Instead of the traditional maroon clothing draped around the man-sized figure, this was clothed in blue…

In the annual festival, the Black Nazarene is traditionally pulled by men with two large ropes, but in this case the statue was carried by poles resting on the strong shoulders of the devotees..

There was a bit of swaying, as the men struggled to move the heavy statue down the street, finding a rhythm in taking each careful step as they collectively shifted their weight, occasionally halting lest the statue toppled over in a misstep…

When you follow the light…

Until next time!

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