Tens of thousands make a vow – or panata – to take part in the most massive display of Catholic faith in the Philippines – the annual Traslacion with the Black Nazarene of Quiapo.
As per custom, the Black Nazarene leaves the Minor Basilica a day or two before the annual procession, either in a public fashion or clandestinely. Since 2016, the procession begins at around 05:30 AM PST (GMT+8) after a solemn Midnight Mass at the Quirino Grandstand (usually presided by the Rector of the Minor Basilica but with the Archbishop of Manila preaching the sermon), followed hours later by Morning Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours.
It ends in Quiapo in late night of the same day or early the following morning, depending on how long the image has travelled. Some participants choose to wait for the image inside the Minor Basilica to greet it, while most devotees walk throughout the whole processional route.
All devotees wear maroon and yellow like the image, and they walk barefoot as a form of penance and in emulation of Christ’s walk to Golgotha. Authorities estimate that over 500,000 devotees strode barefoot in the 2013 procession, which was attended by 9 million people. Attendees include families of devotees, tourists, and members of devotees’ associations throughout the country and overseas, all carrying their long gonfalone usually coloured maroon or white and embroidered in gold and emblazoned with the image and the association name.
The Black Nazarene procession – “Traslacion” – left the Quirino Grandstand at 5:28 am Monday, January 9, with the police estimating the crowd to be at close to half a million. It’s expected to swell in the coming hours, while the procession is known to last throughout the day and night.
Nazareno 2017: Scenes from the Black Nazarene procession
Meanwhile, network services from all telecommunication companies was shut down in the city of Manila during the Feast of the Black Nazarene on Monday, January 9.
In an advisory to media, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said this was done upon the request of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“Security purposes” was cited as the reason for the planned shutdown.
Photo by: Mr. Michael M. Dalogdog and Jsinglador