Early finish to Black Nazarene procession seen-A A +A
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
ORGANIZERS are seeing a shorter duration of the annual procession on the Feast of the Black Nazarene as compared to the record-setting 22 hours last year.
In an interview, Quiapo Church Rector Msgr. Clemente Ignacio said they are pinning their hopes on the forklift tires placed in the andas (carriage) to be the key in finishing the procession earlier.
“Ngayon, umaasa kami na mas mabilis (compared last year) dahil naayos na yung gulong,” he said.
Procession started around 7:15 a.m. Wednesday right after the High Mass officiated by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
The High Mass was marred by the early approach of the devotees to the Quirino Grandstand, where the Black Nazarene image was placed for over a day.
This forced the security personnel, including members of the police and the mamamasans (those who tend to the image), to position themselves earlier than expected.
Tagle tried but failed to appease the rushing crowd as they still marched toward the grandstand. Ignacio and Caritas Manila Executive Director Fr. Anton Pascual then went to the crowd, who eventually calmed down as the mass continued.
Devotees are not allowed to get near the andas (carriage) until after the mass, which was set to be followed by the traditional procession.
But the Quiapo church official immediately shrugged off the incident, saying the crowd remained under control.
“Gusto lang talaga nila pumasok at mapalapit sa Poong Nazareno… sumusunod naman sila nung pinatahimik sila,” noted Ignacio.
He added that the organizers are well-prepared as shown by the presence of security marshals in the immediate perimeter of the grandstand.
The priest said one has to understand that devotees have different ways of expressing their devotion to the Black Nazarene.
Among them, he noted, were through simple praying, kissing the image, serving the church, and attending the mass during the January 9 Feast Day.
“Mapapansin mo very varied ang spectrum ng paraan ng ating mga deboto… iba-ibang levels sa pag-intindi sa panamplataya,” said Ignacio.
He said the “less zealous” faithful can be found in the Quiapo Church, where hourly masses were held Wednesday.
In his homily, Tagle appealed to devotees to show how deep their devotion to Christ is based on the way they value life.
“Ang daming reports tungkol sa mga patayan. Tayo sana ang sasaksi sa katotohanan na ang buhay ay sagrado. Patotohanan natin yan,” said the prelate.
“Kailangan natin sumaksi sa katotohonan na dumating si Kristo hindi po para ipahamak ang kapwa, kundi upang mabuhay ang kapwa sa ganap ng buhay at kapayapaan,” Tagle added.
His message came after the violent encounter that killed 13 persons at a checkpoint in Quezon last Sunday. President Benigno Aquino III has already ordered an investigation on the incident.
As expected, the celebration was marked with injuries.
As of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has already treated a total of 750 individuals, with some sustaining “major injuries.”
Based on the data of the PRC, 428 people had minor injuries, including dizziness, lacerations, bruises, fainting, vomiting, and wounds.
Another 304 needed to have their blood pressures taken.
The Red Cross also said major injuries sustained by 11 people include bleeding, difficulty of breathing, unresponsiveness, cardiac arrest, heart attack, avulsion, puncture, laceration, burns, and head injury.
Seven people, meanwhile, needed to be transported to nearby Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and Ospital ng Maynila (OsMan).
Those sent to the OsMan are 11 year-old Christian Ramos (laceration on right eye); 35 year-old Jing Moniosa (fluctuating level of consciousness); 28 year-old Rosita Rivera (emergency child birth); and an identified individual found to be unresponsive.
Transported to the PGH were John Michael Franco (lock jaw); and two unidentified individuals suffering from chest pain and unconsciousness, respectively. (HDT/Sunnex)