Witnessing Traslacion is a feeling too hard to express in words and incomprehensible to understand by heart. Mixed emotions; somewhere and in-between the feeling of glee and bliss. Uncertain. Accomplished. Traslacion 2024 can be either different or more intense.
I started participating in the celebration of the feast of the Black Nazarene in 2011. Since that year, I only got a chance to hold the rope of the Black Nazarene during the procession in 2013 somewhere on Arlegui Street around 7 or 8 p.m. It was risky. The street was narrow and the so-called “sea of devotees” was constantly intensifying. From all corners, devotees were like water current that moved in utmost kinetic energy that subsiding got no chance at all to interfere with the flow.
Tonight, January 9, 2024, Black Nazarene 2024 or Traslacion 2024, all the way from Taguig City, I left around 6 p.m. to witness the #Traslacion2024. I came, I saw, yet I was late. The Black Nazarene had just arrived at the Quiapo Church. And these are the scenes, experiences, and views I captured and took them as witness of this annual feast of the miraculous Black Nazarene as I settled to attend the mass to complete the feast.
As they have done their part for the whole day of sacrifice and toil of devotion during the Traslacion, these devotees along the Quezon Bridge find their way back home for the whole night’s rest bearing themselves the feeling and the deep belief of being fulfilled and blessed by the Black Nazarene.
“Seas of devotees” gathered outside the Quiapo Church attending the mass at past 7 p.m. During the mass, there were incidents of difficulty in breathing and fainting that “Hijos”, those who kept watch and assisted devotees, were keen enough and alert to call medical help.
Some devotees along Quezon Boulevard while participating in the mass, in unison, cheered, “Viva Nazareno,” from time to time. An experience nobody can comprehend the feeling of bliss while cheering along with them.
Devotees packed inside the Quiapo Church. I managed to get inside to receive the blessing of Holy Water. Then, in just a few minutes, I could already feel pressure on all sides. I slowly kept my pace finding the way out. Part of our faith is to make aware that we are also human beings clouded by duality. I think of exhaustion, difficulty in breathing, and the worst fainting or death possible as I could see a tight pack of barefoot devotees kept on coming inside with force and an apparent “I-don’t-care” spirit.
At last, I found myself outside gasping for air and then slowly managed to get away farther from the packed devotees constantly pouring in nearer the Quiapo Church as another mass would about to begin.
Regel Javines is, at present, working on his M.A. in Philosophy at the University of San Carlos attempting to understand life and existence through the lens of Gnosticism, spirituality, and ontological mathematics. He has been writing since 2011 publishing news, commentary, and opinion about politics, law, and various pressing social issues of interest. More >>