Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
STORY #1 “BLACK NAZARENE”
HOUSE independent bloc leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez yesterday wished hundreds of thousands of Black Nazarene
devotees a safe, orderly and clean procession during the annual parade at Quiapo, Manila this Friday.
Romualdez reiterated his appeal to the devotees to observe supreme discipline to avoid similar incidents in the recent years where
participants were even killed and many were injured.
He said the feast is about honoring the four century-old statue of Jesus Christ and not about deaths and injuries of the devotees.
Romualdez asked the devotees to make the Feast of Quiapo a very special day to foster unity in the country free from any untoward incident.
“The Feast of Black Nazarene is a good opportunity for the people to be united. The faithful devotion of participants to the Black Nazarene
should be observed with discipline to avoid untoward incidents,” said Romualdez, a lawyer and president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa).
Romualdez urged devotees to avoid jockeying for position in pulling the carriage bearing the image, adding that the Black Nazarene is
accessible to public in Quiapo church every day.
“The perennial problem of devotees blocking the path just to get the distinction of being the first to pull the carriage is causing problem. I hope they will avoid this since the Black Nazarene is always in Quiapo,” he said.
It will be recalled that devotees, many carrying small towels or handkerchiefs, squeeze their way to touch the statue or grab a piece
of the rope used to pull the cart to ask special favors or give thanks for granted ones.
The procession of the four-century-old wooden life-size statue brought in the Philippines from Mexico by the Spaniards in 1606 around streets
in Quiapo is a way to honor the Black Nazarene.
The lawmaker also joined calls for the participants to maintain a clean environment during the entire procession.
“Our pious devotion to the Black Nazarene should be accorded too with our religious concerns to our environment. Let us avoid a pile of
garbage unattended,” the lawmaker said.(RPP)