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    Posted January 9, 2014 by
    manila, Philippines
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photo essays: Your stories in pictures

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    Feast of the Black Nazarene


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Filipino iReporter rolangarcia was present in Manila to witness the extraordinary procession of a statue known as the Black Nazarene through the city's streets. The statue of Jesus Christ is thought to have been singed by fire while being transported to the Philippines by a Mexican ship in the 17th Century. It is borne through the streets of the city on certain occasions throughout the year, sparking scenes of intense devotion from the city's largely Catholic residents. "The atmosphere of the feast is one of a kind and can only be experienced here in the Philippines," he said. Furthermore, the people pulling on ropes in one of the images are doing so for a valid reason. "It is believed that when you grasp or hold on to the ropes and be one of the people pulling it, your wishes will be granted and also it symbolizes the undying devotion of the devotees," he explained.
    - sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer

    An estimated 12 million devotees and tourists joined the annual "translacion" or the procession of the Black Nazarene. The event started earlier than expected when devotees stormed the Luneta Grandstand even if the mass hadn't finished yet. It took 30 minutes to get the image of the Black Nazarene to the "andas" or carriage.


    The annual Feast of the Black Nazarene commemorates the "translacion" or the moving of the image solemnly to the minor basilica.


    Devotees are determined to touch, wipe and hold the image of the Black Nazarene because of their deep belief and devotion to the image. Even if the devotees are used to crossing the old route, they followed the new, prescribed route in the end. Like most of the incidents in the past years, there were a number of incidents of suffocation, minor injuries, cuts and bruises--a far cry from what should be a solemn, holy event.


    The Black Nazarene arrived in Quiapo Church past 2AM (approximately 18 hours procession).

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