Black Nazarene Festival in Quiapo: Is It Really As Bad As Some People Make It Out to Be?
The Black Nazarene is a sculpture of Jesus Christ that was sent to us from Mexico and is now housed in the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila. The sculpture is considered to be miraculous by Filipino devotees and novena celebrations happen there every Friday, while a feast occurs every January 9. Generally speaking, people believe that whoever touches theNazarene will be healed of diseases. Some believe that relationships will be fixed or that other miracles will happen. Some people even rub handkerchiefs and towels on the statue with hopes of bringing some of the statue’s power with them.
I’ve been shooting the Black Nazarene Festival for more than 2 years now. Every time I ask my friends and family to join me, however, everyone is too chicken or afraid to participate. For years now, the Black Nazarene Festival has been known to have a bad reputation due to mainstream media coverage. Main media focuses on the accidents, deaths and the negative stuff; but from my experience, it’s a festival of street food, smiles, music and attending church just like in simbang gabi.
Have a look at these first-hand pictures from my 9-hour photo walk at the Black Nazarene Festival in Quiapo to see what I mean:
Black Nazarene Festival in Quiapo
Check out the entire album here: Sonic Chronic
Through this Quiapo photo walk, I want to show my family and friends how the Black Nazarene Festival is not as bad as they think it is. I decided to shoot the whole event and share the experience through photographs. In total, I have more than 500 pics of people partying, smiling, posing and singing. It’s really not as scary as what people think and so, you shouldn’t be afraid to join. In fact, the majority of the participants are kids and elderly people. I even saw some foreigners joining in the festival.
By: Jason Quema