BALANGA CITY, Bataan — Devotees coming in droves continue to pay homage to the replica of the image of the Black Nazarene inside the St. Joseph Cathedral compound here.
Children and adults fall in line to reach the Black Nazarene, offer sampaguita garlands before kissing or wiping with handkerchief the cloth, foot or hand of the image in a flower-decked tent at the side of the cathedral.
The devotees silently recite a short prayer or inaudibly deliver their petitions while holding the foot of the image.
Jimmy Mangalindan, caretaker of the Black Nazarene replica, on Tuesday said the annual “pahalik” has been held here since 2010.
Asked why locals are flocking to the cathedral for the “pahalik”, he said, “kasi sa Quiapo napakaraming tao at ang mga may karamdaman, matatanda nahihirapang makapunta doon kaya dito na lang sa Balanga upang madali nilang mahawakan ang imahen at makapag-prusisyon pa sila (Because in Quiapo, there are too many people and those who are sick and elderly have difficulty going there. Here in Balanga, they can easily hold the image and they can join the procession too).”
He said the “pahalik” started Monday and will end on Thursday.
After the afternoon mass on the last day, the procession for the Black Nazarene will start at 6 p.m.
During the procession, Mangalindan, along with some assistants, will be on top of the carriage to catch towels being thrown by devotees, which they will wipe the image with before these are tossed back. (PNA)