Monday, January 9, 2017

Panata to the Black Nazarene

There are many times when I fear for the safety of my family. I guess it's only natural being a mother and wife. But there are 2 particular days in a year that my nerve system doubles its usual rate, today January 9 and the other on Good Friday.  It is on these two days that my husband joins the multitudes in their devotion or panata to our Lord.

Image may contain: 5 people, people standing, crowd and outdoor
Photo credit: Anthony Rufo's FB page. View his page for other artistic pictures of the Translacion 
Today, being the annual Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo (I heard earlier that this isn't the correct title, but this is what we commonly call it so I'll let it be), my husband just came back from his panata, feet blackened by walking barefoot and being trampled by other devotees. He was gone for at least 4 hours and while he was gone I would catch a news coverage of the ongoing Translacion and wonder where he is in that crowd, and again, my heart would race realizing he is actually part of that crowd.

Of course, I don't go with him,although many women dare to be part of the male-dominated procession. If I were to go one of these days, it would be to satisfy the photographer in me, to try to capture the drama of the event.

Image may contain: 13 people
Photo credit: Bench dela Rosa's FB page. Can't seem to get a decent picture of this.
Will try to this year, if my nerves will allow me.
The other date that I somewhat dread is the Good Friday Giwang-giwang, the annual procession, which is similar to the Translacion of the Black Nazarene, but the image is that of the dead Christ in a coffin and the streets are that of the narrow streets of the bayan of Binangonan, Rizal. I've blogged on this back in 2008 (Giwang-giwang). The Giwang-giwang goes by my husband's cousin's house and we get a good view (and a good whiff too - the heat and smell from the combined bodies of the men can be physically felt and smelt as they pass us) of the Sepulkro and the devotees as they make their way back to the church. This tradition we have witnessed for the past 14 years. My kids have gotten used to it, although my daughter when she was old enough to understand actually cried when she saw her dad being "carried away by the crowd".

So this is the confession of a wife who waits anxiously for her husband's return, not from a war, but from a devotion that I still sometimes fail to fully comprehend. People pray in different ways, others choose to join these processions and offer up their sacrifices of sweat, discomfort and pains to the Lord, while others do it in a more quiet manner. Mine today is for the safety of all those who make this devotion. Bless them and us, Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno.


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