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The carroza bearing a replica of the 17th century image of the Black Nazarene which was brought from Mexico in 1607.

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Time ticked to 1400H and the crowd, filling all available spaces in Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila, are already roused. Men are already standing while some are warning others who were wearing shoes to stay away or for women to go to the sides. Whistles are blown, the announcer at the stage is crying out instructions but already drowned out by the crowds’ chants of “lubid, lubid, lubid” (“rope, rope, rope”) and “viva, viva, viva.

Suddenly, the gates of the church are flung wide open and the pair of abaca ropes stretches out to the sea of people where it is grabbed by the devotees. The small carroza bearing the 17th century image of the Black Nazarene starts its crawl as the devotees pull. Firecrackers erupt and smoke spreads, smelling of pulbura (gunpowder). Towels and handkerchiefs are thrown to the image while men atop the carroza wipes the statue and throws it back. Some men and women are ready to give an arm or a leg in order to jostle, climb up and touch the Christ.

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