Religious Festival of the Black Nazarene

Thousands of devotees in Manila made their annual procession in honour of a deity they believe to be miraculous.

Mostly male, bare-foot devotees waved white handkerchiefs, when the statue of the Black Nazarene was brought out of its shrine in the Philippines capital on Wednesday.

Unmindful of the risk of stampede, thousands took part in this procession, marking the feast day of Saint John the Baptist Parish, which houses the image.

It was a struggle as everyone in the crowd made an effort to touch the centuries-old statue.

Some were happy to just be able to grab the the rope that leads the image through the procession, but even that was a hard task.

Worshippers said they had come to show appreciation and devotion to the image for prayers that had been answered.

At least 200 policemen were deployed to ensure the safety of those taking part in the procession.

The life-sized statue of the Black Nazarene is believed to have been made by a Mexican sculptor and was brought to the Philippines by a priest in the early 1600s.

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