Culture and festivals in Manila thrive to this day. Through the centuries, the Philippines took on many influences both from the East and the West, and as a result, the country became a melting pot of colorful and interesting cultures and festivals. The Spaniards made the most impact since they ruled Manila and the country for 300 years. They brought what is arguably the Filipino people’s most cherished piece of culture – the faith of Roman Catholicism. Majority of the culture and festivals in Manila are hinged on this national religion.
The biggest and most anticipated street parade and religious procession in Manila is the Feast of the Black Nazarene, which happens yearly on January 9. The statue of a brown-skinned Christ carrying a cross is transported from Rizal Park to Quaipo church. The procession is painstakingly slow as millions of devotees flock to see, touch and kiss the image, which is believed to have miraculous powers. Days before January 9, the City of Manila anticipates the mass of religious devotees and prepares cordons, ambulances and security. Only in the years 2010 and 2011 were there no records of death due to stampede or massive crowding. There were, however, a number of injuries and theft. This religious festivity causes massive traffic in affected areas as well. [Read more…]