By Erma Edera
Some devotees chose to attend the hourly mass in Quiapo Church, Manila instead of attending the traditional procession of the Black Nazarene or “Traslacion” on Wednesday.
For Mark Angelo Santos, 36, of Paco, Manila, one of the attendees during the mass, said it did not matter if you join the procession or not because the Black Nazarene is housed at the Quiapo church any other day of the year.
“Mas mahalaga pa rin ang pananampalataya. ‘Yung iba nga sumasama sa prusisyon pero nagnanakaw naman at may grupo ng mga magkakaibigan na hindi naman nagseseryoso at nagiingay lang,” he said.
A scene stealer today was a man who knelt down in front of the church entrance and proposed to his girlfriend. Both of them are devotees of the Nazareno.
Christian Genese, 23 and Christian Orpiano, 21 have been together for six years and they are already scheduled to be wed on Friday.
However, Genese still wanted to formally propose to his girlfriend.
“Gusto kasi naming sa harap ng maraming tao,” he said.
The crowd in the church continued to swell to 105,000 as of yesterday afternoon.
Station commander Supt. Julius Caesar Domingo said the festivities in the church have been generally peaceful.
No untoward incident has been reported apart from minor injuries, as of press time.
Business also thrived outside Quiapo church, especially for those selling herbal oil, handkerchiefs and shirts bearing the likeness of the Black Nazarene, as well as cheap fruits and street food.
One of them was Mario Ramos, 68, who sold miniature figures of Black Nazarene and handkerchiefs.
Disabled from waist down since 1951, Ramos said he lives at a foundation but still needed to make ends meet.
He said he expected to earn P1,500 on the day of Traslacion. But on regular days, he said, “Suwerte na ako kung maka P500.”
Meanwhile, Quiapo Church Parochial Vicar Fr Danichi Hui said they expect the Traslacion to make its way back to the Quiapo Church before 3 a.m. Thursday.
The Traslacion last year lasted 22 hours.