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Man proposes during Black Nazarene mass

While millions joined the Black Nazarene procession around Manila yesterday, thousands trooped to the Quiapo Church also in Manila for the hourly masses.

Christian Genese, 23, caught everyone’s attention when he knelt and proposed to his 21-year-old girlfriend, Christian Orpiano.

They have been together for six years and are set to get married tomorrow.

However, Genese wanted to make his proposal known to as many people as possible.

“Gusto kasi naming sa harap ng maraming tao,” he said.

Mark Angelo Santos, 36, of Paco, Manila, said he finds no need to join the procession since the Black Nazarene is at the Quiapo Church any other day of the year.

“Mas mahalaga pa rin ang pananampalataya. ‘Yung iba nga sumasama sa prusisyon pero nagnanakaw naman at may grupo ng mga magkakaibigan na hindi naman nagseseryoso at nag-iingay lang,” Santos said.

Despite the big crowd – police estimate 150,000 – the festivities were generally peaceful.

Business was brisk outside the church.

Among the products sold were herbal oils, handkerchiefs, and shirts bearing the likeness of the Black Nazarene as well as cheap fruits and street food.

Mario Ramos, 68, sells miniature figures of Black Nazarene and handkerchiefs.

Paralyzed from the waist down in 1951, Ramos said he lives in a house ran by a foundation.

During the “Traslacion,” Ramos said he earns by as much as P1,500.

On regular days, “Suwerte na ako kung maka P500,” he said.

The Black Nazarene image is expected to return to the church before 3 a.m. today, according to Quiapo Church Parochial Vicar Fr. Danichi Hui. (Erma Edera)

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