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Devotees share stories of faith

Black Nazarene devotees relied on their faith and went on with their religious zeal despite numerous threats of supposed terror attacks during this year’s “Traslacion” in Manila.

Sixty-year-old Canadian national Nick Pagsis apparently disregarded travel advisories that came from other countries and went on to attend his second Nazarene event.

“It seems that more people attended this year. I read from the Manila Bulletin that the authorities will take extra measures to make sure that it will be safe for devotees,” Pagsis said. “I am somewhat a devotee of the Black Nazarene, I just don’t belong to any group. But, yeah, I’m here and it feels good to be here.”

Pagsis, who admits is not a devout Catholic, already considers himself a devotee of the Nazarene and attended the early mass at the Quiapo Church in Manila.

Sixty-nine-year-old Angelica Dumatag of Sta. Maria, Bulacan started her devotion when she asked that her daughter be cured from a then serious illness.

“Eighteen pa lang ako ay deboto na ako ng Nazareno. Humingi ako ng tulong sa kanya dati at hindi niya ako binigo. Ito lamang ang tanging paraan na mapapasalamanatan ko siya,” said Dumatag. “Pinag-iipunan ko po talaga para makapunta ako rito. Hanngang malakas pa ako, itutuloy ko ito dahil hindi kami pinapabayaan ng Diyos.”

Tondo, Manila native Christina Nobelas, 44, has been keeping her obligation of hearing mass every Friday apart from the annual Traslacion after her husband recovered from a serious illness.

“Wala na po akong mahihiling sa Diyos. Narito lamang po ako para magpasalamat sa Kanya,” Nobelas said. “Kahit may mga banta man ng terorismo, hindi kami papatinag. Handa kaming mamatay.”

Initially, 21-year-old Marife Sumayo and husband Edwin feared for their safety but eventually kept on with their devoutness and actually brought their two kids, aged two and eight months.