011913 The Urban Tracker (In Manila): Collective Hope From Moriones To Wagas

Gangnam craze hit Moriones festivity

he Gangnam bang has struck and bitten even the onlookers and passersby of the en grande parade of Sto Nino here in Moriones. 

Dropping by the Moriones Park from Pajo, the beat was ferreting out in every street corner as thousands of Tondo fandoms signing up yearly in this scampering love parade.

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The many faces of Sto. Nino image
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Kids on standby at Plaza Ferguson
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Bunch of images in the cartwheel
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Sponsor festoon the inner alleyways
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Arch welcomer feting Sto. Nino
All participants assembled along the Moriones loitered and almost swallowed the streets in standby for a signal. The streets going to interiors were decorated and festooned to flaunt the theme for fiesta. The motorists were avoiding this part for fear to get stuck as carriages of fashioned Sto. Nino’s already parked on streets. In Plaza Moriones meanwhile, the participating kids were hanging it out in the Cry of Tondo monument together with the rest of barangay representatives all wearing uniform colored theme and each group rehearsing dance steps. The Ati-atihan revelers, bands, musicians, and impersonators all mixed up conspiring ready for the turn-out of the next moment.

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Sto. Nino image carriers never mind the burden
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In Wagas, residents carry the images by tradition
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Venerating the Sto. Nino replica
In Wagas street,  the motion was up there as the procession kicked off for the venerated image of Sto. Nino being manned by devotees with girls taking turns carrying the burden. All the windows of the neighborhood were open, all with their images propped with them. Then there’s Mayor Lim who flashed a smile as policeman band orchestrated again a Gangnam style tune to the march of the participants. Getting caught in the middle of the walking crowd all heads up carrying their own image of fashioned Sto. Nino, proudly waving it and making it follow the beat of the band was such an experience.  I must say a complete madness. I guess a professing adoration for this tradition is linked to innermost faith. Their deep devotion could have blessed them in miraculous and certain ways that participants could not hide their overflowing expression of thankfulness.

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Following the parade on the back
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The street filled up with Sto. Nino revelers
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The bandstand drummer in uniform of the beat
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Checking in with the elusive everlasting 
Following the parade, they made their way out of Wagas to Moriones signaling all the waiting participants to assemble on their blocking marking the start of the procession. As I carried my way to a safe zone, people were now scrambling to get a spot on the street lining up for the remaining hours of the procession. And so the army of revelers began the march.

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Colorful performances in batches
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Sto. Nino mysticism never goes out of style
It's pretty hard at first to understand the infection of  Sto. Nino in the lives of Moriones revelers. But in a way its a form of thanksgiving, a part of Pinoy's festive blood. These people may have simple requests and some unspoken pains that they all want to channel in their prayers to the little wonder.  There's hope so collective floating among these people's struggle translating and leaving the street on fire.