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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Feast of the Black Nazarene 2017 (part 3 FINAL) - Chasing the Translacion


Many people ask me how was the Feast of the Black Nazarene last Monday, my answer always to them is that -- for me its the most relaxed feast ever and also the Translacion is smoother and faster. They can't imagine what the heck is the most relaxed because they know that its stressful to go there and also lot of people got hurt during the Translacion.

I told them that I found a better route to intersect with the Translacion and I shared to them that the best part is to walk though at the back of the Translacion and instead from the front were lots of people are waiting for the arrival.

As proof, I have photos here in my blog post that I was in the middle of the Translacion and again trapped in the sea of people.

But first let me share you some more photo story about my journey going through the Translacion

Recap: The event follows after I attend the mass in Quiapo church, I must walk my way out of the crowd and go to Sta Cruz fountain to meet Ted and Enzo. But there are some difficulty in communication due to the dead signal for mobile phones, the administration forced the Telco to cut mobile communication within the area to prevent terrorist activity.


After attending the mass, I have two roads to choose from Plaza Miranda going to Carriedo station.
1st road - Hidalgo st.
2nd road - Villalobos st.

Both road leads to Palanca st and going to Carriedo station.

My problem for Hidalgo st. is that the road is a bit small, so it means its crowded and hard to move in there. So my official route is to talk Villalobos st with a much wider road and the flow of crowd leads Palanca st.


My view at Villalobos st. Looking back at Quiapo church


Drum groups spotted playing some beats while their cross dressing male performers in costume perform some fire breathing stunts, dancing and singing. They also hand over you a white envelope asking for donations.


Kid poking the birds with a stick was caught by the bird vendor.
Funny moments while walking in this road.


Nazareno devotees continue to walk going to the church. Some of them carry heavy statues of the Nazareno on their head


A better replica of the Black Nazarene was spotted here in Palanca st.


Devotees from Tanay, Rizal just arrived in Quiapo


That guy, carries a lechon wrapped in aluminum foil. Lots of devotees got hungry when this guy walk through the crowd. Its funny to see this because a lot of people carry their Nazareno statue in Quiapo, but this guy carries a lechon.


Another replica spotted in Carriedo station


After a long walk from Quiapo church to Sta Cruz Church. I arrived here at the Sta Cruz fountain area at around 12:30pm. I remember that my last message to Ted and Enzo is to meet here at 12nn. So I stayed here til 1pm and I waited. There are no mobile signal and Im so frustrated to contact them, but I can't do anything because Im a sitting duck and waiting for them with no contact.

I left the area and proceeded to Chinatown.

Later on I learned that Ted's message was successfully sent to us, Enzo received the message that we're scheduled to meet at 1:20pm.  Darn...I'm an hour early. Too bad that the message was sent after my signal was cut off when I arrived in Quiapo.


In Chinatown, Ongpin St. -- Young teens carry a small version of the Nazareno image.


Castanas nuts are still sold in Chinatown. Also the entire Fil-Chinese community here are preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year 2017 this January 27-28th. Expect the entire Chinatown to be crowded.


Im at the other end of Chinatown. My plan here is to eat my lunch at Carvajal st.
my usual route every year.


2nd Ongpin bridge


I arrived in Carvajal st.
so quiet..and zero crowd.


My lunch at Quik Snack -- Amah's Lomi!!!
Its my first time to order this and I can say that its sooooo good!


Taking a selfie for my lunch break.
Nakakapagod ang paglalakad so I need this selfie hahahah. Too bad I can't send any photos yet on social media because of the dead signal


After going out of Carvajal st. My original plan is to go straight home, but then I encountered a massive crowd infront of me. I think that the Translacion just arrived in Binondo. I asked a local cop in the area and they told me that the Translacion is already there.

I can't pass through on my way home, but its good that the Black Nazarene is just there..somewhere in the thick crowd.

So I walked and I've learned that the image already turned right to Dasmarinas st.  So I chased the Translacion but walking with the crowd from behind. The movements towards the Black Nazarene is smooth because the road is wider and the crowd is much organized from the back.


I took my Nikon D5300 with kit lens up in the air and started to document the entire scene

You can also watch my vlog about this here at


The Andas of the Black Nazarene suddenly stopped, this gave me more time to get a close shot by walking with the rest of the crowd going to the side part of the Andas.

If you saw my vlog video, you'll see that there are young females trying to climb the Andas, and its funny that the crowd clap their hands whenever they see a ladies climb up and successful touch the cross of the Black Nazarene. But the crazy part is you see them falling down into the ground. I wonder if someone down there catches them.


The Andas started to move, but I didn't join the movement of the crowd because I saw that we will cross a small bridge, Its hard to walk near it and its a hazard. So I stayed from my last position and there I took photos and video of the entire Translacion scene.


The Andas started to move and then it stop, move again and then stop.
The administrator of the Andas got lots of patience in trying to organize the people who are carrying the Andas -- yes that big wooden wagon is carried by many people.


Here's my view at the back of the Translacion


More close up photos, this time I used my 200mm lens



After taking this last shot, I realized Im so close to the Andas, and Im relaxed and felt okay, I didn't got hurt just like in my previous years, so I tell my story over and over again to people who ask me , how was it. I think I will do this again next year, take the same route and try to get close again to the image of the Black Nazarene without getting hurt.


Here are some photos I took at the back of the Translacion


Each image is heavily guarded


So that people won't climb up and touch it or wipe their towel on it.
The person who stand beside it will have to catch the thrown towel and wipe on the face of the image and give it back to the person who threw it.


This kid caught me snapping some photos


Hey gangsta!


More image of the Black Nazarene enters Dasmarinas st. right after the Translacion


Some devotees carry candles all the way from Quirino grand stand to Quiapo church


I always eat in this resto. Too bad that they always closed during the feast.
But see you soon for Chinese New Year.


I can now see the road right after the procession.


Some devotees rest along the alley of Dasmarinas st.
Tired and sleepy.


This guy needs a break


Devotees walk barefooted during the feast of the Black Nazarene.


Happy people.


Its amazing that this group of family joined the Translacion and they carry their kids with a wooden push cart.


Religious group dressed up as nuns arrived in the scene.


MMDA are cleaning up the entire road right after the arrival of the Translacion.
good job guys!


This Tshirt vendor asked for a photo op.
Sorry, it got blurred during the quick shoot


Large garbage truck arrived to carry tons of garbage.


Smile for a selfie!


More garbage


Some devotees re-group after the end of the Translacion


This group trying to catch up with the Translacion
hurry up guys!


While some are taking a rest near Savory


I think MC Pumper is a fire truck?????


I noticed this guy dressed up as the Black Nazarene. His face and body is covered with black paint and carries a wooden cross


Kids were following him because he gives candies and sweets to everyone


Everyone are calm and quiet... relaxing after the sea of people


Manila cops are arriving


Trike pulling a push cart


Coast guard team arrived..some of them are so busy under the Jones Bridge.
There are some activity under us but its hard to take a photo.


My coverage is finished..

Thanks for reading my annual coverage of the Feast of the Black Nazarene. I can say that my experience for this year is different and the funny thing is that Im okay, Im not badly hurt or beaten by the thick crowd of people and also the take out food from Quik Snack survived inside my bag hahaha.

Thanks again...and Viva Senor Nazareno!
Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, Philippine Bloggers Network, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. Azrael's Merryland Blog is included in a list of top 50 Blogs in the Philippines , ranked 65th in Top 100 Blogs that Matter , 49 must read lifestyle blog in the Philippines. and rank 40th in 100 Top Philippine Blogs by Feedspot.
He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collects Transformers toys.
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