Culture

Traslación 2018 in Photos: What Filipino Devotion (Still) Looks Like

The annual procession of the Black Nazarene draws millions of people.
IMAGE Jilson Tiu
Comments

It’s an annual phenomenon, but one that never ceases to astonish. On the ninth of every January since the year 1787, Filipinos have gathered to celebrate the “solemn transfer” of the Black Nazarene, a life-sized image of a dark-skinned Jesus Christ carrying the cross to Golgotha. The image is said to have arrived in the Philippines in the 16th century, and then was moved from its original shrine in Intramuros to its current Minor Basilica in Quiapo Church some two hundred years ago. Ever since, devotees have commemorated that occasion yearly, with a procession called Traslación.

The Black Nazarene itself is believed by many Filipino Catholics to have miraculous healing powers. To its most staunch followers, merely touching it can cure disease. That’s why the image’s influence has expanded and drawn impossibly large crowds to Traslación every year, with millions walking alongside it—some barefoot, in penitent emulation of Christ’s suffering—as it makes its way to Quiapo. Many of them hope to touch, if not only venerate the Black Nazarene, in search of a cure.

The tradition was upheld this year, as Traslación began at 5:00 a.m. on a Tuesday. Photographer Jilson Tiu attended the procession and situated himself on a rooftop, where he had a bird’s eye view of the assembling throngs:

.








.

“Some of the devotees were with us, after they had plunged into the crowd early in the morning. They stopped to rest inside the building where I stood,” Tiu recalls. But he also notes that not all devotees were to the Black Nazarene. “Some of the feast-goers were Mother Mary devotees, or just regular Catholic devotees who brought their personal image of Christ to the procession.”

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

.







.

Tiu also notes how the crowd’s density lent itself to the unique spiritual practice. “It’s exhilarating to feel the faith of thousands of people in such a small area,” he remarks. His photos capture that faith, and render a powerful portrait of traditional Filipino devotion surviving the modern world.

For more incredible photos, follow the photographer's Instagram account: @jilson.tiu.

Comments
View More Articles About:
About The Author
Miguel Escobar
Assistant Features Editor for Esquire Philippines
View Other Articles From Miguel
Comments
Latest Feed
 
Share
No need to brave Christmas traffic to find a standout gift for your friend.
 
Share
Parisian know-how meets New York can-do with new takes on the Slim d'Hermès and Slim d'Hermès GMT.
 
Share
New research says fast food is the "good guy" when compared to sit-down chains.
 
Share
A number of high-profile TV shows and films are set to revisit the grim Ted Bundy and Charles Manson cases in 2019. It's a morbid fascination that won't go away
 
Share
"It’s like working for some secret deep state government organization"
 
Share
Clint Bondad shows you how to define your wardrobe with the fundamental white dress shirt, bullet-proof sport coat, and all other classic details of men's dress.
 
Share
Plus a tip on how to create an easy-to-remember, unhackable password
 
Share
One item, a whole bunch of ways to wear it. Here's how to style your suit for every scenario.
 
Share
The draft federal Constitution proposes a lot of changes that have nothing to do with federalism.
 
Share
A whole lot has changed, not least their paychecks.
Load More Articles
Connect With Us