We went to Manila last Tuesday to catch up with some friends. It was about the time when preparations for the feast of the Black Nazarene reaches fever pitch. Actual feast day was yesterday, January 9 (my son's birthday too). I watched TV reports on the long procession as I did year after year. It never cease to amaze me how this unbelievable 'sea of people' show their veneration for the life-sized, dark-skinned, wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ genuflected on the weight of his cross. I am always inclined to draw a parallel with out people's hapless state and how they truly resonate with the image of the suffering Saviour.
Photos from My Sari-sari Store
Then something else strikes me. There is actually rhythm and grace in the frenzied pulling of the Black Nazarene’s wood and steel float as it is processioned along the streets of Quiapo from mid- afternoon until well into the night. Bearers take the cue from every push and every pull on the a 50-meter rope throughout the procession. Everyone reaches out to touch the rope, but each one mindful of the need to let go immediately to allow the float to move on.
There is our lesson -- like a treasure hidden in plain sight. Selflessness. Respect for one another. It waits for the day when we can fully apply it to our daily lives. Perhaps then, our nation will have been well on its way to the destiny it rightfully deserves.