Apr. 03, 2023 01:26 PM
Bukas Quiapo Tours with international humanitarian workers for a group picture outside the Manila Golden Mosque in Quiapo, Manila (Photo by Bukas Quiapo Tours (BQT))
The Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue & Archives, Documentation, and Research Ministry, together with the members of Bukas Quiapo Tours (BQT), guided twenty-five (25) faith-based humanitarian workers from different countries in their pilgrim tour around the Quiapo community district on March 30, 2023. The tour was organized by Ms. Ysabel de Dios, BQT Education Officer, in cooperation with Ateneo De Manila University and SAVE San Sebastian Basilica Conservation and Development Foundation, Inc., and aimed to cultivate deep immersion and profound appreciation of the history, culture, and traditions around this ‘Heart of Manila’.
Following this tour’s itinerary, the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene was among the most visited significant places of religious worship and services around the Quiapo community. Mr. Kidanzac Tallada of the Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue & Research Ministry described how Traslacion had shifted to being a national security event given more than millions of devotees overwhelming the church’s capacity amidst looming security threats from terrorists weeks leading to the Feast Day. Also, he shared the church’s general overview on celebrating Traslacion during the pre-pandemic period, the innovations and other modifications throughout the pandemic Traslacion, especially the recently concluded Nazareno 2023, which were highly lauded and proved effective for its (annual) successes. All of these were possible through the devotees’ understanding of and cooperation in promoting the spirit of true devotion to the Nazareno despite the emerging new ways of commemorating the Traslacion.
On the other side of the Quiapo community exists another sacred place of worship, the Manila Golden Mosque and Cultural Center. Known as the biggest mosque in Manila, the Golden Mosque is the central landmark of thriving Islamic faith and beliefs within a highly urbanized metro life, beyond its architectural significance reflecting the civilization of Muslims in our country. During the discussions by Mr. Hadji Alawi and Mr. Alfrein Quirionez of Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue & Research Ministry, they tackled the importance of promoting dialogue as an avenue of promoting cooperation, solidarity, and peace with the Muslim brethren. Additionally, Mr. Quirionez describes the importance of dialogue as a means to address the conflicts, biases, and prejudices between Muslims and Christians toward transforming Quiapo becoming a model of dialogue among all other Muslim-Christian communities in Metro Manila.
Mr. Kidanzac Tallada shares how Traslacion is being celebrated pre-pandemic, pandemic period and recently concluded Nazareno 2023 to the pilgrims from Bukas Quiapo Tours (BQT) (Photo by Mr. Alfrein O. Quirionez (EIAM & ADRM), Quiapo Church)
Added to the list of places to visit around Quiapo were Bahay Nakpil and San Sebastian Church from earlier. This experience is not just a revisitation of past histories in their glorious state once but a new brand of discovery and understanding of the stories of the heard, and unheard, and even remembering the forgotten. Beyond theoretical awareness and knowledge, this tour around Quiapo Community shows the richness and abundance of religious rituals and practices. Moreover, the unity in diversity speaks volumes of coexistence between these two religious’ communities in the Quiapo meeting at the core of faith in the same merciful and compassionate God.
– Kidanzac A. Tallada | EIAM & ADRM