The Black Nazarene

randomcameraguy / © alex felipe - 13/02/2008 17:29:29 project: Quiapo Fiesta \ Asia \ Philippines \ Manila
The Quiapo Fiesta attracts over a million people every year.  They arrive early in the morning for mass, and wait until the procession (which starts at noon and lasts until early evening).  The main goal for the devotees is to touch the statue of the Black Nazarene, or at least to get a piece of cloth rubbed on it.  The statue is believed to have magical powers, so in a country of hardship, that's pretty damned important.

The colour of the statue is explained as being the result of surviving a fire aboard the Spanish ship that brought it to Asia in the 17th century.  It's a rather gory idol as well, as the face is bloody and bruised and seems to be struggling to bear the cross.

This year, like last, there were a few deaths and many injuries resulting from the sea of humanity pushing towards and away from the statue (perched utop a slowly moving vehicle).  The deaths were officially caused by heart attacks and struck the old, while most injuries that I saw were on feet as the majority of people had exposed feet in flip-flops or sandals.

Despite there only really being one "real" Black Nazarene, there are dozens of other replicas paraded around which people also try to touch.  This photo is of one of those replicas. 
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discussion about this photo  exif data 
14/02/2008 04:56    from : jinju

Very dramatic stuff Alex. a very good continuation of the project. I can see the sort of mood you are building here, and Im itching to see more. The face of JC, ofcourse but much more the hand of the girl are the captivating elements here. Bravo.

13/02/2008 23:59    from : Furachan
Blinding compo, alex, in every sense of the word;o) A veritable "explosion of faith", as such it is striking and extremely effective.
The overex elements are somewhat problematic - you've got a god deal of burnt highlghts there, but it culd be said that they too reinforce the "faith" aspect...
In any case, and having said that, this is an outstanding, epic image, and I salute it.
Best, Francis

13/02/2008 18:53    from : proxilva

ciao Alex,

Good to see you here again, still rough, contrasty black and white i see :o) very nice...

very nice composition in this shot, it screams action... It sounds like some dynamic festival man! injuries, death, blood and gore... damn you got my attention. And if you keep coming with shots like this, you aint losing my attention aswell... keep 'm coming


13/02/2008 18:31    from : Designsoul
Incredible composition.  The diagonal Y shape defined by the white areas makes this a huge explosion of sorts, which fits the subject perfectly, Felipe. Absolutely adore the tilt here, with the dynamism that it adds to an already super-dynamic topic. This series is going to be a real treat I predict :)

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