CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Close to 250,000 devotees joined this city’s version of the Traslacion of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo, Manila, on Friday, January 9.
This was the 11th year the city held the Traslacion. Back in 2009, Cagayan de Oro was the only place outside Quiapo where Roman Catholic Church authorities allowed the Traslacion of the Black Nazarene.
The Nazareno Parish along C.M. Recto Avenue here has 3 replicas of the Black Nazarene donated by the Quiapo Church. One replica bears the original hand of the Black Nazarene image from Acapulco, Mexico.
Thousands of Catholic devotees held vigil at the Saint Augustine Cathedral where the Black Nazarene was transfered from the Nazareno Parish on Wednesday, January 8, around 8 pm.
Devotees lined up for hours for a chance to hold the image.
Other devotees who were from out of town spent the night at the cathedral’s benches or in Gaston Park just outside the Cathedral.
The vast space of the cathedral and Gaston Park coupled with a colder weather provided for an orderly “Pahalik“. Police tightened security in the cathedral, leaving only one door open for entrance and exit.
Like in Quiapo, a mass was celebrated to signal the start of the Traslacion or procession marking return of the Black Nazarene image to the Nazareno Parish.
The entire Traslacion here only lasted nearly 3 hours. It left the Saint Augustine Cathedral around 5 am and arrived at the Nazareno Parish around 7:15 am. Upon arriving, the huge crowd burst into dances and chants, and remained in the church grounds.
From the Cathedral, the procession passed through Dolores Street then Velez Street and then C.M. Recto Avenue
As traffic were rerouted, devotees waited along the route to join the procession with thousand more waiting at the Nazareno Parish along C.M. Recto avenue.
Cagayan de Oro City Police Office spokesperon Major Ivan Viñas said that the route were secured by the police, Army’s Task Force Oro, Roads and Traffic Administration and Barangay tanods of all urban barangays in the city.
“We have an orderly Traslacion even though there were nearly 200 thousand devotees who joiined the procession,” Viñas said.
Viñas said they received reports of devotees who fainted but were quickly rescued by the City Disaster Risk Reducton and Management Deparment (CDRRMD) medical personnel.
“No untoward incident took place,” Viñas added.
Wenceslao Salcedo of Nazareno Parish’s Hijos del Nazareno said that they were happy with the orderly Traslacion”. The image of the Black Nazarene was taken of its carrier and carried on foot as the procession approached Recto Avenue.
“That is to make sure that the Nazareno can come to the level of us devotees,” Salcedo said.
Unlike the Traslacion in Manila, the image here is carried on a wheeled carriage pushed by the Hijos del Nazareno. A two-tier cordon of police officers guards the platform preventing devotees from approaching.
Devotees here instead threw their handkerchief to the Hjos for them to wipe the image.
Priests, nuns, church workers and lay ministers lead the procession, guided by police officers and traffic enforcers in motorcycles.
As the Black Nazarene entered Nazareno Parish, devotees carrying image of the Black Nazarene burst into dances and raising their personal images. They shout: “Viva Senior Nazareno.”
A matter of faith
At the vigil in Saint Augustine Cathedral Parish, devotees here asked for blessings and intercessions of health.
Donatello Abellera, a retired security officer from Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental said that since he suffered from kidney problems and turned to God for his healing.
Abellera said he used to go to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center, which is a block away from the parish church. He first passed by the Church to pray.
“I was suppposed to have a kidney transplant but I could not afford it. Since 2013, I frequently prayed at the Nazareno Parish for health blessings,” Abellera said. “I prayed for good health so I could spend more time with my family,” added Abellera.
“He (Black Nazrene) made it possible for me to live longer,” Abellera said.
Mary Jane Ordiz, who frequently heard mass at the Nazareno Parish credits her life to her devotion to the Black Nazarene. In 2019, Ordiz, met an while riding her scooter. She crashed to an 18-wheeler truck, but survived miraculously with just a scratch and sore muscle.
“I came from a campaign sortie and dropped by the church to pray. On my way home, the accident took place. It’s a miracle that I am here talking to you. The ‘Poon Nazareno’ gave me a new lease in life,” Ordiz said. – Rappler.com