We are a couple of hours removed from another rendition of the annual holy ruckus that is the Feast of the Black Nazarene. (Not the patron saint of Quiapo Church, but heck, let’s just leave John the Baptist out of this again.)
This year might have enticed a couple of millions more from the usual count of eclectic ocean of devotees, but one fact still remains constant: the tradition and devotion still lives on, especially among the young- a trend seen in recent Traslacions.
This could be attributed as a rite of passage for some, whose life-long devotion to the Nuestro Señor dates back to their early childhood.
The wave of younger worshippers are gradually taking the helms of their predecessors whom have taught them in the ways of their belief even before they learned their ABCs.
So it’s really not a surprise why younger and younger people are taking part in the traditional divine parade.
Like tigers in a circus, they’re taught to believe in the salvation of the whip. That they’re not fully void of their sins before they break bones just to get the chance to kiss an immaculately black religious sculpture on a carriage.
And that in itself amazes me. That such belief of sacrificing life and limb for the removal of their comeuppance greatly animates their devotion. The passion is remarkable considering their pulling only a replica half a city away for almost a whole day.
Sure, their older counterparts have done this time and again, but add the zing of youth to the millenial followers of the Black Nazarene, expect an even wilder frenzy in the coming years.
Come to think of it, devotees often come to the feast with the personal wish of curing one’s disease, only to be strechered off with fractured bones or get enough intervention from the ‘Poon’and get lucky to escape with only minimal dents and scratches.
So what’s the pay-off?
For the wide-eyed throng of devotees, it seems they’re well and fine with injuries. They’re fine with being banged-up and tossed about as long as their faith isn’t bruised.
Though it’s funny that many consider this as their ultimate sacrifice for a whole year of sinning. For most, it’s a clean slate afterwards. Like a brand new page in their books of life after a helluva chastisement.
Well nobody’s perfect. We all have our beliefs and we all have our own way of doing them. After all, we are all free to exercise such beliefs in this country. However trivial and eccentric it may seem for the folks of different perspective or of none at all.
The feast may raise more questions than answers for the secular brood, but truth be told, the Black Nazarene has been the beacon of light for devotees seeking escape from the darkness of their trespasses.
Likewise, the holy image of Christ (scientifically proven or not) has cured more sickness than the modern antibiotic, granted more wishes than Santa, and erased millions of sins in just a single day. (Yeah only a day, ‘coz who wouldn’t curse if you’ve got throbbing blisters on both feet the next morning.)
It may seem a grand procession of sacrilege in the minds of people with opposing views, but at the end of the day, it is a way for the hijos and hijas of the Señor to show the world how strong their hold is on the rope that guide their faith.
Blog entry #11 for 2017 Subject: January 9, 2017
Time Stamp: 1/10/2017 1:35 AM