Feast of Black Nazarene generally peaceful — NCRPO

The feast of the Black Nazarene ended generally peaceful early Tuesday morning with 1.4 million devotees joining the celebration this year, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said.

NCRPO Chief Police Director Oscar Albayalde said there were no major untoward incident during the 'Traslacion' or grand procession on Monday.

Albayalde noted zero crime incident during the 'Traslacion' as he expressed his gratitude to all the help extended.

The procession started early after the mass at the Quirino Grandstand early on Monday. The procession was expected to last for many hours as its pace was very slow due to the huge crowd and flock of people waiting along the image's procession route.

The procession, which lasted for about 22 hours, ended as the Black Nazarene's carriage finally reached Quiapo Church around 3:42 a.m. on Tuesday.

Filipino devotion was again on full display during the feast of the iconic Black Nazarene, as millions among the faithful took part in an itinerary of rope-pulling, towel hurling, and-if you're up to the task-climbing the andas that carries the four centuries-old image.

The andas, which is said to be operated by a single "driver-mechanic" underneath its box-shaped chassis, practically served as the Poong Itim na Nazareno's humble boat that sailed the sea of millions that guided it in its passage from the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta to the Quiapo church.

Devotees usually seek to pull or hold the rope connected to the andas, which to some signifies sharing the burden of Jesus during his passion. Hence the term, namamasan ("burdened one").

During the "Traslacion", towels or handkerchiefs are hurled to the marshals escorting the Black Nazarene, with requests to wipe these on the statue in hopes that the miraculous powers attributed to it would "rub off" on the cloth articles.

Traditionally, only men were permitted to become "namamasan" (the devotees pulling the A�ndas by its two ropes), but in recent years, female devotees have also been allowed to do so.

Religious veneration of the Black Nazarene is rooted among Filipinos who identify themselves with the Passion of Jesus Christ.

Many devotees of the Black Nazarene relate their poverty and daily struggles to the Passion of Christ as represented by the image.

The Black Nazarene is borne in procession on its A�ndas, accompanied by devotees clad in maroon who walk barefoot as both penance and in imitation of Jesus on his way to Mount Calvary.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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