first friday

quiapo will never cease to amaze me, especially on a bustling, official religious obligation attached to the basilica of the black nazarene every first friday. they hold mass every hour of the day, and people just never seem to run out at whatever time of day. it's "standing room only" inside the church, so that one can hardly move without grazing someone else's shoulders.

the line towards the glass-encased black nazarene at the side of the church extends to the church grounds. it's the queue of the faithful who wish to touch the statue of the said religious figure on this important day of the month.

in one of the sidestreets are stalls selling the icons and articles of the religious on one hand, and the mystical on the other. statues of the holy infant jesus stand side by side with metal amulets engraved with writings i cannot comprehend, as well as various other strange items like dried seahorse (allegedly for curing asthma), herbs, leaves and roots (some of which resemble jesus' crown of thorns), these tiny chopped twigs of some sort with what looks like a clover leaf sculpted on them (allegedly to compel a person to be "enslaved" to every word you say), and so many others. i was asked to buy a st. benedict medallion there, said to be an effective counter-amulet to curses and malicious spells. i hope it's worth the twenty-five pesos.

meanwhile, the notorious pirated vcd stalls near hidalgo st. were all mysteriously closed today. even my "suki" dvd stall at the furthest corner of arlegui st. was locked up, much to my disappointment. a recent raid in celebration of the new administration perhaps?

0 vandalized my wall:

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