As we were trying to grasp the true apt meaning of people swarm, we were guided by the unfolding events of the celebration of the feast of the Black Nazarene prominently exemplified in the image enshrined in Quiapo church of Manila.
The throng of people of different and varied persuasions during the conduct of the mass at the Luneta grandstand and the ensuing unnecessarily prolonged, and obviously rowdy mass attendance and procession literally wrapped the meaning.
Parents and adults subjected themselves into gruelling duel and “manhandling” among themselves, and amidst a sea of humanity upstanding one another for either a few seconds of grasp on the carriage (andas) and the image itself. The leaderless mob were only guided by the fact that the procession will have to end at the frontyard of the church eventually.
But wait, some of these adults brought with them small and young kids and placed them in a situation many would strongly consider child endangerment. For if bigger individuals were having a hard time finding their own ground, how much more of their tiny companions. It was a wreckless excursion.
Leaders of the Catholic church admitted that the show of force of many people in the event was a manifestation of faith. It was also a political statement that the religious heirarchy still command a good following, even if those who came appeared almost like fanatics and lawless individuals in their quest for an idol.
A social analyst added that the attendance was proof that many Filipinos are so poor and downtrodden that attending the procession will help alleviate their illness and situation, hence, they came with handkerchiefs and towels that can be rubbed on the image. Many should be aware by now the towels also accumulated germs, dust, dirt and sweat, too.
While an image of the Black Nazarene stays at the Quiapo church all year long which believers can visit on their convenient time, many choose to subject themselves to a brutal treatment of a procession.
By the way, the image used, subjected to a rowdy, torturous procession, was only a replica of the one safely hidden in the church.