People walked barefoot as they marched towards Quiapo Church to commemorate the feast of the Black Nazarene. The traffic was congested, policemen and traffic enforcers stationed to re-direct the traffic only led us to a loop. It’s quite disappointing how they didn’t lay out a plan an proper announcements on which roads will specifically be closed and what time will the routes be back to normal. Of course, those who have escorts were able to pass easily, as well as those with badges. We couldn’t go home so decided to find some place to settle and head back to our previous destination. We were not prepared for this so I don’t have my laptop with me, just two small books (Harry Potter’d textbook), but glad that I have a notepad and a pen with me. Dad and I both read the newspapers available at the cafe.
The lines were probably jammed because it was really difficult to let the sms get through, calling was really hard as well. Signals were turned off in the area, people were discouraged to bring phones and sharp objects to prevent accidents, as well as the threat that the government got through their intelligence reports.
The sun was piercing hot today. It was definitely hard for the people who walked the procession barefoot. There were a lot of devotees and the procession took a long time. Dad said that this reflects the state of our society, a lot of sinners and more and more people becoming poor, clinging to miracles to gather some hope by touching the Black Nazarene with their hands or towels. One of our professors said the same thing. And the way the government handled today’s event is so discouraging with no plans and just a reflection of abuse of power in the midst of the big religious event for the start of the New Year. At the end of the event, reports of people who were hurt and hold-up cases piled up, as well as litters scattered everywhere
Church leaders were hoping that there will be proper observance of the feast next year by the Catholic devotees, less people would get hurt, but it’s not easy to change that. If the people could keep the faith in their heart and not just aim to touch the wooden statue to experience the miracle, there would be significant change in their lives too. They are urging the people to follow through faith.
The procession lasted for about 22 hours before the Black Nazarene reached the endpoint of the march.