VLOG: Black Nazarene returns to Quiapo Church
MANILA, Philippines – The Feast of the Black Nazarene 2015 officially ended 4 am Saturday, January 10, when the famous religious icon was returned to its place in Quiapo Church.
This year’s procession started in Quirino grandstand 8 am Friday and ended almost 20 hours after.
The biggest religious gathering in the Philippines, the feast brings people from different sectors of society together.
David Lozada files this VLOG.
The Black Nazarene is finally home! After at least 20 hours of being paraded across Manila, the famous statue of Jesus Christ reaches Quiapo Church. This is one of the longest processions in recent years with millions of Filipinos participating in the festivities.
Plaza Miranda was filled with yellow and scarlet as devotees faithfully waited for the 16th century mulatto image of Christ overnight. Songs of praise and shouts of joy echoed in Quiapo when the image finally entered the church.
But this year also has its shares of injuries. Manila officials say one person died during the procession and more than 600 people suffered minor injuries.
Despite the dangers of taking part of the procession, the feast yearly draws devotees from different sectors of Philippine society – including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender groups.
One LGBT devotee tells us how his devotion to the 16th century icon strengthens his faith.
JOLAN DELOS SANTOS, DEVOTEE: Every year, my friends and I participate in the Feast of the Black Nazarene. It strengthens my faith to face the challenges of life. I believe everyone’s equal in the eyes of God, regardless of your gender.
With the Feast of the Black Nazarene finally over, local authorities and Catholic faithfuls now look forward to Pope Francis’ arrival on January 15. The festivities here, after all, are the dry run for the Argentinian pontiff’s visit.
The success of the Feast of the Black Nazarene prove Filipino Catholics’ devotion to the religion and local priests say we can expect more people to participate in the Pope’s first trip to the Philippines.
David Lozada, Rappler Manila. – Rappler.com