Every 9th of January, millions of devotees flocked Quiapo to celebrate the Feast of the Black Nazarene. The translacion dates back four centuries ago when the image of the Nazarene was brought to the Philippines from Mexico. The Nazarene, which turned black after a fire, is believed to be miraculous.The unwavering faith of the devotees is always inspiring. From Quirino Grandstand, they will walk barefoot all the way to Quiapo.
The route for the procession this 2012 (source: Philippine Information Agency)
- Route from Quirino Grandstand (Rizal Park), right Katigbak Drive thru P. Burgos
- Turn Left Taft Ave(P.Burgos) thru McArthur Bridge, right Palanca, thru under Quezon Bridge
- Left Quezon Blvd, right Arlegui, right Fratenal, right Vergara. left Duque de Alba, left Castillejos, left Farneclo, right Arlegui, left Nepomuceno, left Aguila, right Carcer
- Right Hidalgo thru Plaza del Carmen, left Bilibid Viejo thru Puyat, left Guzman. right Hidlago.
- Left Barbosa, right Globo de Oro thru under Quezon Bridge, right Palanca, right Villalobos thru Palza Miranda to Quiapo Chruch.
Here are some tips when participating in this religious feast:
1. MOBILE PHONE. As much as possible, don’t bring a mobile phone. Yes, it’s very important but then again, there’s always the risk of losing it. This is possible especially if you see yourself in the middle of the sea of people. But if you insist, put it in your front pocket or if you’re wearing a jacket with a secret pocket, then put it in there.
2. CASH. Don’t bring your wallet. Just bring enough cash for your return fare to wherever you’re going and for food.
3. WATER. Yes, it’s essential to bring a bottle of water to prevent dehydration. Expect to sweat a lot. Or if you’re lazy to bring a bottle of water, there are numerous vendors who follow the procession as well. Bring a sandwich or an energy bar too.
4. CAMERA. If your purpose is to shoot the procession, be at the venues early. Early means around 3:00 AM. Usually, a mass is held at the Quirino Grandstand at around 6AM.
- You can find a statue in the middle of the Quirino Grandstand, where you can climb and shoot at a wide angle showing devotees waving their white hankies.
- If you’re satisfied with your shots, head on to Quiapo ahead of the devotees. Find a building that will allow you to climb to the top. During our Black Nazarene experience in 2009 and 2010, we got to the 2nd floor of a building across Plaza Fair to shoot the aerial view of the devotees
- If you want to feel the action, then shoot on the ground. But again, there’s the risk. Don’t do this if you have a lot of lenses with you. You might be trapped in a stampede. Stampede incidents had happened in the past years.
- You will find a lot of interesting subjects for photography in Quiapo. It’s so fun!
- Here’s another interesting subject. Maybe you can find him at the Plaza Miranda.
5. TRAFFIC. For motorists, check out the rerouting of vehicles as issued by the Manila Metropolitan Development Authority.
6. TIME. Expect the procession to last 10 hours.