January 9 at Quiapo Church in Manila, The Black
Nazarene, a life-sized statue of Christ is carried
through town by barefooted men yelling, "Viva Seņor,
while huge crowd tries to touch the statue. Every year
thousands of devotees from all walks of life come to the
district of Quiapo to take part in the procession as a
way of strengthening their faith or fulfilling their "panata"
(vow) to Lord.
The statue is placed in a gilded carriage for the
procession. As the procession starts, procession
participants garbed in maroon tops grab two long ropes
and pull it to make the carriage move. Many will attempt
to touch the image while some throw their handkerchiefs
and towels in the air. People who join in the procession
walk barefooted as a sign of humility.
The devotion to the Black Nazarene is long time practice
of the Filipino Catholics and they believe that through
their faith with Jesus Christ, there will be peace and
harmony among families, long life and good health among
people, deliverance from all calamities and disasters,
and prosperity, joy and love among nations.
The statue is made from a particular dark hardwood and
arrived on a galleon ship from Mexico in 1606. Since
1787 the statue has been housed at Saint John the
Baptist Church in Quiapo also known as the Minor
Basilica of the Black Nazarene. In 1998, a replica of
the original Black Nazarene was first paraded due to the
repeated damages on the statue. Today this replica is
still used in processions while the original rests
inside the church.