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Going along the Black Nazarene route

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j n
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Going along the Black Nazarene route

I looked into this for the 2013 feast but it was a bit too last minute for me. Now next years feast is approaching and I'm quite interested in attending as a spectator so I'm starting up again with some research.

I looked at a few links and sites about it last year about the statue and it's origins and the only thing new I've learned since then is that there is a route that it travels from Rizal park to the Quiapo church. I'm not religious so I don't need to get close to it or climb up it or anything and I probably won't be going to the church on the day of the feast.

I'd like to ask anyone who knows anything about this what the crowds are like along the route. especially along the first section going along the park before crossing the bridge that leads to Quaipo church. From what I've seen in the news reports from previous years the crowds aren't that bad until you get to the church and it's surrounding areas but I haven't been able to find anything out.

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1. Re: Going along the Black Nazarene route

Stay away and watch it on TV. It is not a tourist activity. Every year, people die partaking in the procession.

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2. Re: Going along the Black Nazarene route

@ jn,

It is very crowded - in fact it is crowded and packed even by Manila Quiapo standards. You won't see / experience anything interesting except for lots of pushing and jostling. As FSRP has correctly pointed out, hundreds get injured every year just by being part of the crowds (anythign between 850 to 1000 got injured in Jan 2013) -

See the below articles for details :

1) This video will give you a clear idea of what chaos to expect -

abs-cbnnews.com/video/nation/metro-manila/01…

2) Phil star - Hundreds injured - philstar.com/headlines/2013/01/10/895203/hun…

3) ABS CBN - 850 hurt in 2013 Black Nazarene procession - abs-cbnnews.com/nation/metro-manila/01/09/13…

4) ABS CBN - Stampede in 2012 procession - abs-cbnnews.com/nation/01/09/12/stampede-mar…

5) Photos of the procession - …inquirer.net/tag/feast-of-the-black-nazarene

j n
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3. Re: Going along the Black Nazarene route

Thanks for the concern and input. I actually lived in Las Pinas and been around a lot of the Philippines over 10 years ago, even attended a few Sinulogs in Cebu so I have some idea of the crowds and what to expect.

@youonlyliveonce, most of those links don't work but I suspect they are the same ones I looked into before. Most of them touch on a small part of the feast and usually focus on all the accidents and stuff, which as far as I can remember mostly occur at the most crowded spots around the main church itself.

From what I have read, the starting route of the statue itself is somewhere in Rizal park and begins at around 6am so I'm trying to find out how the crowds are along that part of the route at that time in the morning. I'm thinking I can situate myself there early and catch a glimpse of the statue or just observe the crowds from a distance for a short period of time before it gets too hot in the day.

As far as the church itself, I should have plenty of time to have a look a day or two before the or after the parade/feast.

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4. Re: Going along the Black Nazarene route

The feast of the Black Nazarene is not comparable to others like Sinulog or Dinagyang where you just stand in one corner and let the parade pass. If you do that in Quiapo expect that you will be stepped upon.

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5. Re: Going along the Black Nazarene route

@ jn,

I agree with Kegler, Sinulog (and most of our fiestas in the Phils) are way too calm and composed as compared to the Black Nazarene procession. You have been in the Manila mrt at peak time - right? Well, peak time mrt is disciplined and "sans crowds"as compared to the Black Nazarene procession. It is not the crowd, but the chaotic crowd at the Black Nazarene procession which creates problems.

However, if you DO plan to do it, please do be careful.

Take care, and either ways, have a good time. I know you will - you do seem to have your mind set on this.

j n
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6. Re: Going along the Black Nazarene route

I don't know if calm is how I would characterize a Sinulog, I've been involved drunken fights and "rambols'', had two close friends suffer multiple stab woulds in two separate sinulogs in the past, although one was technically the day after the event. Are you saying this is the type of atmosphere I should expect throughout the Nazarene feast, or like sinulog are there places and black spots to avoid?

Not sure if I'll still go to Manila but if I do, I'll probably try to attend and like I said, I'll probably just try to observe from a distance and see how far I can go before the crowds get to bad.

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7. Re: Going along the Black Nazarene route

i was at rizal park this january 2013 when the black nazarene followers were gathering. i did not plan to. i had just arrived in manila 5 hrs before then and was on roxas blvd accompanying my wife and mother in law who had a business appointment. . i decided to go walking on my own that early morning to the park not really knowing what i would find. i had my camera and wanted to take pictures of the park. there were tens of thousands gathering there...all wearing red...i have been to the ati atihan and kadayawan festival...this is not of the same ilk...this was not designed to be a tourist spot. nevertheless, i hung out at the park, snapping pictures of the sites as well as the devotees...it was a very friendly and safe crowd at that point...like typical filipino...there were plenty of smiles and good spirits...many were barefoot...all ages...i was surprised by all the young people there...i got lots of interesting photos of people, families etc...it is totally safe ..no reason to be intimidated...i did not go there to join in the procession. after that morning, i watched on tv, how it went on for hours but i was not there at quiapo...

Edited: 30 November 2013, 05:43
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8. Re: Going along the Black Nazarene route

It's best if you can watch from a high location, like a 2nd floor of a building where the parade is going to pass. Otherwise it's going to be pretty unpredictable and might cause serious injuries.

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9. Re: Going along the Black Nazarene route

Interesting responses ...

@ Jn, I'll put it this way - you have been in mrt in Manila at a crowded station at 6:30 pm - right? Now imagine that crowd multiplied by 10 (in the same limited space) in a religious fervor where everyone wants to see the procession. This is what I mean by the fact that Sinulog is far calmer (drunker brawls? that certainly is not an unruly thing. Stampede where a few people get trampled? Now that is what I call unruly)

I personally feel only someone who has a religious bent will find it participating / seeing the Nazarene procession worthwhile - but then, I have accepted that life and people will always spring surprises!

What you have mentioned in your last paragraph is sensible - it is a good idea to enjoy from afar and then decide how close you wish to get.

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10. Re: Going along the Black Nazarene route

I will also point out that with that many people crushed together, pickpockets have a a field day.

I have heard that some of the deaths attributed to falling under the wheels of the Black Nazarene has actually been summary punishment for thieves.

Watching from on high is an excellent idea.