The Black Nazarene

    The Black Nazarene has many names. In Spanish it is called the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno. In Filipino it is known as Mahal na Itim na Nazareno or Itim na Nazareno. But its formal name in English is “Our Father Jesus Nazarene”. The black Nazarene is wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ. It is a life-sized figure carrying the cross. Filipino Catholics believe the wooden figure to be possessed with miraculous nature.
In the beginning the Black Nazarene had a fair complexion. But because of a fire that burned the ship it was carried on, it turned black. Luckily, the sculpture survived. The sculptor of the image has always been unanimous. According to history, it was brought to Manila from Acapulco, Mexico via a galleon ship. 
    Originally, the Black Nazarene had an identical twin sculpture which was brought to Manila. This is found in the Intramuros district church records. It is said that the first one kept in Bagumbayan’s San Nicolas de Tolentino church before it was transferred to Intramuros. Unfortunately the Battle of Manila in 1945 destroyed this first image of the Black Nazarene when a bomb hit it. By then, the other sculpture was placed in the Quiapo church where some people thought it to be the original one. In the year 1650 Pope Innocent X gave his approval of the Black Nazarene for veneration as Sacramental. He also gave the permission to the Confraternity of the Most Holy Jesus Nazarene. 
    Filipino Catholics and those who relate to the Passion of Christ venerate the Black Nazarene. Most of them would relate their hardships to the struggles that were experienced by Jesus himself such the one presented in the image of the statue. Devotees clap their hands after the offering of mass at the shrine as a sign of homage. 
    Three processions take place each year when the Black Nazarene is taken out for veneration. The procession takes place on New Year’s Day, January 9 and Good Friday. January 9 processions commemorate the transferring of the Nazarene to Quiapo church. On that day, the image is carried out to the street in a carriage called the “andas” which means “to go forward” in Spanish. The devotees would walk barefoot and wear maroon colored clothes as an act of reminiscing Jesus when he went to Mount Calvary. The carriage is tied with a rope which men would pull. In the past only men were allowed to pull the ropes but recently female devotees joined in the act. The Catholics would touch the image hoping for a miracle to happen. Some people allegedly have even been reported to have had their diseases cured after contact with the Nazarene. Because of this, desperate devotees who can’t get near the statue would throw their towels at the guards requesting them to rub it on the image hoping that its miracles would rub in the cloth. The procession of the Black Nazarene on feast day is known to be a fatal one because of the heat, fatigue and the massive numbers of devotees reaching to millions.
    Fortunately, when the number of devotees rose to 8 million, the route on the 9th January was altered to a much wider street located at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park. This is also the first place where the Nazarene was enshrined. At the end of the day, the statue is returned to the church. In contrast to this veneration, the other two commemoration of the Black Nazarene on New Year’s Day and Good Friday is a solemn one.

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Saturday, September 10, 2016 - 09:41:17 PM
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    The Blood Compact or Pacto de sangre in Spanish is a ritual that took place in the Philippines in the old times. The tribes observe this ritual for three main reasons. The blood compact is used for the acknowledgement of a friendship, recognition of a pact or a treaty and a validation to an agreement. Sometimes all three are found in the reasons for a blood compact. In the ritual the parties would slit their wrists and make the blood fall into a cup. The cup is then filled with liquid or wine and then both parties drink from it. A mutual consent is formally sealed with the act.     The most famous blood compact in the Philippines was the Sandugo. It is a visaya word which means to have “one blood”. Sandugo took place in Bohol in 16th century between Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna who was the chief of Bohol. The blood compact also happened with Rajah Humabon and Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan. The blood compact between Legazpi and Sikatuna is the first official sign of friendship between the Spaniards and Filipinos. It was held in March 16, 1565. The same thing was done by the Kataastaasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan of the revolution. But they did not drink each other’s blood. Instead they used the cutting of wrist as a symbol of their membership.     The blood compact in Bohol now holds a monument in the city of Tagbilaran. It is depicted in the flag and also in the official seal of Bohol’s government. The features of the Sandugo are sketched in the symbol. On the top is the explanation of its history and the shores where the Spanish explorers anchored.      Sandugo goes deep into the history of Philippines. It is used to mark the official signings of mutual consent and is usually a catalyst in significant situations of the Filipinos. The people of the Philippines have been known for their great respect for the said occasion. In the year 1886 in Malacañang Palace, famous Filipino painter Antonio Luna portrayed his award-winning version of the Blood Compact. The painting featured the images of Sikatuna and Legazpi’s enactment of the Sandugo. The picture shows Legazpi accompanied by conquistadors where Sikatuna was described as crowded by these people.     The Filipino’s passion in the preservation of their culture was evident in Antonio Luna’s Sandugo painting. It has won many awards in his time and in the modern times. The painting was awarded first prize in 1904 in Paris, France and the United States. At present the painting is placed on top of the grand staircase of the Ceremonial Hall of the Malacañang Palace.     The performance of the blood compact is an act for mutual understanding and respect for Filipinos. The cutting of the wrist represents the willingness of both parties to cooperate and sacrifice even their blood for the treaty. Drinking each other’s blood on the other hand represents brotherhood and all the protection and love that come with it. That is how far they are going to prove to each other that they see the fusion highly and will protect it.
    The word Bajau is a collective term for indigenous groups of people. These groups have also blended with the culture of the Sana which is why they are called the Sama-Bajau. In history the term Sama describes indigenous people who live more in areas of land. On the other hand the term Bajau is used for ethnic groups residing near the seas or on seas or those who dwell in boats.      The Badjau People or also called the Sama or Samal are indigenous ethnic groups found in Maritime Southeast Asia. They live mainly on the seas using wooden boats like the Vintas. This ethnic group originally came from the Sulu Archipelago. They also lived in some areas of Mindanao and northern Borneo. For half a century though, the Badjaus have been migrating to neighboring countries and also in the northern Philippines. This is due to the ongoing conflicts in the ARMM ( Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao). At present the Badjaus are considered to be one of the largest ethnic groups in Sabah. They make up almost 15% of the state’s population. These people have also migrated in Indonesia but the number of their population remains unanimous. The Bajau were sometimes associated with other ethnic groups of similar lifestyles. They have been called Sea Gypsies. The outward spreading of the Bajau from their old homes to other countries wasalso associated with the development of sea trade in modern times.     The origin of the term Bajau was never clarified. It is generally used to describe or call these ethnic groups. Ironically, they themselves never used the term Bajaus to describe themselves. They would call themselves according to their tribe’s names, the place they live in or where they came from. But even so these people share the same some of their vocabularies and bodily features. That is why agree with being called Bajaus in general.     As a large ethnic group, the Bajaus have subgroups within themselves. And although they share some genetic characteristics and parts of their vocabularies, each of their groups had their own unique languages and traditions. However, some of these subgroups are able to understand the others’ languages. The Simunul for example, which are found in Sabah are able to communicate with other Bajaus using the Tausug language.      There are numerous subgroups comprising the Bajaus. The UbianBajaus are the first of these groups. They are originally from the island of South Ubian located in Tawi-Tawi of the Philippines. In Sabah they are considered to be the largest group of Bajaus. They live in minorities around the Kudat and Semporna Towns in Sabah, Malaysia. The Bannaran is another subgroup which originated also in Tawi-Tawi but on the Bannaran Island. They are also found Kudat and Semporna. The SamalBajaus is another group originating from the coasts of Sabah. But many of them have migrated north up to the Visayas and southern Luzon islands.     The Bajau people vary in their religious beliefs as well as their cultures. Their faiths include the strict Sunni Islam, folk islam and then there are others who are dedicated to ancestor worship. A minority of them are Christians too.
    The biggest mall owners and developers of the Philippines is the SM Prime Holdings. They are the ones who own and developed the SM Mall of Asia which is the third largest in all of Asia. The Mall of Asia ranks as the World’s 4th largest mall having approximately 390,000 square meters by 407,101 square meters in total area. It is located near the Manila Bay and SM Central Park at Pasay City of the Philippines. With its large size come also a large number of people visiting it every day with an average of 200,000. The Mall of Asia is the Philippine’s largest mall until in 2006 when it became the 2nd after the SM City North EDSA’s redevelopment.     The Mall has a vicinity of 19.5 hectares of land with 390,194 square meters of floor area. It has four buildings with walkways interconnecting them. These building consist mainly of the parking buildings (one in the north and another at the south), the entertainment and the main mall. The latter mall then consists of shopping establishments and restaurants including the food court. The entertainment mall on the other hand is mostly made up of two-story complexes usually open-air. It is built facing the Manila Bay. Finally the north and south parking buildings are designated on the south and northern areas of the Mall. The south is located at the Department Store while the North at the SM Hypermarket. Each building has 2,500 parking spaces. Visitors of the Mall of Asia are welcomed by a large globe made of framed steel with an LED display of a Globamaze.     The mall consists of branches of stores which are mostly found in other SM Malls.Aside from that MOA also has 4 other theaters of various kinds. The Director’s Club Theater is used for intimate screenings. The Premiere and CenterStage Cinemas on the other hand is utilized to facilitate live concerts and theatricals. But the San Miguel-Coca-Cola IMAX theatre is the biggest theater in the Mall and is also considered one of the tops in the world.     Another one of the attractions that MOA has is its large skating rink which has an Olympic size of 60x30 meters. Visitors could also enroll at training programs for figure skating and hockey. In 2007 SkateAsia competitions was held at the MOA which was a first in the history of Philippines to host an international event. Aside from these competitions the music hall beside the sea has also hosted singing competitions and concerts.     The Mall of Asia has so many features coming along with its great size. What makes it unique from other malls is that it has a tram which could accommodate 20 people. It also has a Ferry Terminal which saves tourists an hour of time going to Cavite. Other famous attraction of the mall is the SM by the Bay beside the sea (which used to be a place called the Baywalk), the SMX Convention Center (largest in the Philippines) and the MOA Asia Arena which is located at the MOA complex.
    The Pamalican Island is an island surrounded by reefs with a size of seven square meters. It is located in the Sulu Sea between the island of Agutaya and Cuyo. The Pamalican Island is found north of Palawan. It is part of a numerous groups of island which makes up the Cuyo Archipelago. Though it is a small island with an estimate of 500 meters width, it is considered as one of Philippines’ best island private resorts. Originally the island was a plantation until it was bought by a businessman named Andres Soriano Jr. It was then his children who made a decision to transform it into a private resort. At present, its totality now belongs to the resort which is owned by Sorianos called the Seven Seas Resort. It is also a branch of the Aman Resorts resort group nemd the Amanpulo.     Visitors, tourists and customers can get to the island via a plane coming from Manila. The Dornier 228-202K plane ferries people and supplies to the exclusive resort. Along with it comes personal buggies that takes visitors for a free ride round the island. What is remarkable about the Pamalican Island is its extremely calm and secluded atmosphere.      One of its main attractions are its diving sites and coral reefs. It also has a bio diversity of marine life including manta rays and giant turtles. On the north of the island the “Windsurf hut” offers surf boards and sail for customers. Surfers find the monsoon season which is usually from the months of November to May a very nice time to go for a surf since the winds would blow towards the shore.      Aside from being one of Philippine’s best resorts the Pamalican Island stands as nominee for being one of the best in the world. People who have visited its resorts have said that the island itself looks like a green comet placed on white sand. The island is also famous for its purely natural ambience. It takes only an hour and a half to walk around the whole island. Sights of sharks and giant turtles on the shores are also frequent in the area. Tourists have found its experience to be a “retreat within a retreat”.      What makes the Pamalican island is the Amanpulo. It is a five star hotel and resort exclusive and under the ownership of 7 Seas Resort. The Amanpulo is a combination of Snaskrit and tagalong words which means peaceful islands. Celebrities, politicians and successful businessmen constantly visit the resort because of its unmatched privacy that it offers to people who are in need of it. Famous people including Micheal Jackson and Robert De Niro were even reported as having taken a vacation on the resort though it was never confirmed by the management.      People who wish to visit the Pamalican Island have to go by NAIA Airport. The resort itself provides private planes for the customers operated by the Island Aviation owned by the Sorianos. Each visitor is provided with private buggies that take them to their villas and casitas.
    The Dinagyang Festival is both a cultural and religious festival. It is held in Iloilo City on January every year on the 4th Sunday. Sometimes it is celebrated right after the Sinulog ends in Cebu. The Dinagyang Festival is a tribute to Santo Nino and the Malay settlers’ arrival in Panay.     The Festival in November of 1967. That year, Reverend Ambrosio Galindez led the introduction to the people of the Santo Nino devotion. In the following year, Father Enderez brought a replica of the Santo Nino in Cebu to Iloilo and gave it to the Parish of San Jose as a gift. The faithful Catholics as an honor to Santo Nino received the image from the local Airport and paraded it on the streets. When the Marcos regime announced its order on all the regions of the Philippines to create festivals in order to improve the country’s tourism in 1977, Iloilo city was already ready to provide with its own Iloilo Ati-atihan.      The Dinagyang Festival is a festival divided into different events. The first event focuses on the Ati-Ati Street Dance where participants dance in groups. The second event is the Kasadyahan Street dancing and finally, the last event is the choosing of the Miss Dinagyang.     In present times, most of the parts of the festival is consisted by numerous tribes who are called “tribus”. Originally the dancers were people belonging to Ati tribes. But today, no real Ati joins the event nor do they benefit from it. The dancing in the festivals requires some rules to be followed. Performers who join should have their skins painted brown. Aside from that they are only allowed to use materials which comes from indigenous materials for their costumes. The dancing also should be performed with music which uses drums only as its instrument. Because of the efforts of the participants and performers, from 2006 up to 2008 the Dinagyang Festival made it as the top Event for Tourism. Also, it has a record of being the first ever festival in the world to be supported by United Nations.     The Dinagyang Festival has introduced innovations through years of its celebration. These are innovations which through the years also influenced some of the festivals in the Philippines. The Carousel Performance was initiated by the said festival which is simultaneously performed by the tribes in competition. The Mobile Risers was first introduced in 1994 by the Bola-bola tribu. It is a prominent choreography in the Dinagyang festival which has become popular in other festivals too. The Dinagyang Pipes innovation are pipes which are beaten with rubber paddles. The pipes all produce sounds which depends on its size and length. Finally, the Dagoy mascot which is also the first mascot created for festivals in the Philippines was produced from the Dinagyang festival. The image of Dagoy was first taken from a sketch competition in Dinagyang on 2002. Later on, it became official as the logo of the Dinagyang. The caricature portrays a young warrior whose character symbolizes the friendship of the natives and tourists who gather together to celebrate the festival.

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    Remember the good all days when Nokia 3315 dominated the cellular brands available in the market? It has been the most popular and famous brand for cellular devices. Before mobile devices came in, it was first cellular devices and during that time Nokia has been occupying a great spot as the people’s number one choice.      However despite the popularity and the trusted reputation, Nokia faced a catastrophic event. During the release of mobile devices powered by android and ios, nokia wasn’t able to come up right away with their own version of android phone. Instead of getting along with the trend Nokia took the risk of partnering with Windows. The partnership gave birth to Nokia Lumia, also known as the Window’s Phone. Despite the name and the fresh approach, the new windows phone did not manage to attract more customers since it was launched. It was close to being failure since almost all users prefer using android devices rather than have it on windows.      For quite some time, Nokia remained silent about its attempt to match the release of android phones. Some people are even thinking what happened to this company. Nokia has indeed made a legacy. Now that the contract of the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft is finally over, Nokia is now launching its comeback with Nokia 6.     Last January 19, 2017 the company finally launched their mobile android device, the Nokia 6. Although this device will be launched exclusively in China as of the moment, people all over the world are very much excited for the comeback. But how excited should the people be with the specs of this new device?     Everybody should be excited because Nokia 6 has amazing specs that can be compared with Samsung and Apple’s most popular devices. Aside from the monster specs, people are very surprised to have it in a very affordable price. It is 70% cheaper compared to Apple’s Iphone 7 and Samsung’s S8. Just imagine having this kind of specs in a market price.     There is no wonder why it was sold out just a minute after its first launching in China. Although there are no reviews yet about this device people are positively anticipating that this is the thing that they have been waiting for. Everyone is wishing for this device to be available in their country or if not, Nokia will create a device that will be available all over the world.      There are also rumors that Nokia, in partnership with HMD Global will release two android mobile devices this year. And Nokia 6 is just the start of their comeback. The public are now waiting if Nokia will try to match the release date of Apple’s Iphone and Samsung’s S series. This will be an exciting year indeed. If you have plans of getting a new mobile device this year, you should watch out because a new competitive brand is going to make rounds for sure.   
    Losing weight has been one of the most anticipated topics for quite a while now. People are very much eager to lose weight and to obtain a physically fit body. Being slim and thin is now the new standard of beauty, which is the main reason why almost everyone are trying really hard to at least lower down those unwanted fats. The best and most effective way to lose weight is to have a daily exercise and to eat healthy foods that are enough to sustain the body’s need for energy. But people are too busy and lazy to do both.      It is undeniably true that people nowadays would love to eat and eat and wish not to gain weight at all. However it will never happen to most people. There are some though who don’t have any problems of gaining weight because of their metabolism.  But majority of people will pay price of eating too much and absolutely gaining too much weight. People are now trying their very best to finds the easiest yet the most effective way to lose weight. There are supplements, food suppressants, even coffee mix especially made to lose weight. To add to these is the discovery of rice corn.     Corn is known to be a good source of carbohydrates and even rich in minerals and vitamins. However although it is rich in carbohydrates it can actually help people lose weight especially if you are the type of person who often have carbs on their meals. Filipinos are rice eaters. It is hard for one to live on bread alone and that is for sure. If you rely heavily on rice or on carbohydrates it is best to replace rice with rice corn instead.      Rice corn might be effective to help you lose weight since it is has the most number of fiber among other grains. Aside from being fiber-rich, rice corn is more compact compared to rice. It means you only need a little serving for you to get full. Also it takes time before your stomach could actually digest corn because of its compact nature that is why it will also take time before you can feel hunger once again. Corn has less sugar compared to rice. It is one of the biggest assets of rice corn eaters. Carbohydrates, fats, and sugar are the three things you don’t want to accumulate in your diet if you want to achieve a lean and sexy body. Although corn contains carbs, you will be taking it in minimum amount since it is more compact compared to white rice.     Everybody is looking for different ways to lose weight. The best thing to do is to acquire discipline first and then look for ways appropriate for your body build. Not all dietary supplements are effective. Some would depend mainly on the body’s mechanism in losing weight!     
    Taking a bath is a necessity for any person. Taking baths regularly have great effects on the body especially when it comes to proper hygiene.  Washing your body removes dirt and even germs that may cause skin irritation and other forms of ailments. However there are also concerns when it comes to taking baths such as the drying of skin. What actually makes the skin dry and how can it be prevented?      Having a glowing and fully nourished skin is such an asset. It shows how healthy a person is and how he or she takes good care of his or her body. Of course dull and dry skin is not an indication of a healthy lifestyle. It can make a person look older than they seem. Taking baths regularly can indeed make your skin dry because it also removes the moisture within your skin. However choosing between soap or body bar and body wash can actually solve your problem.     Body bars or beauty bars are among the oldest and the traditional products used during bath time. It has been present even centuries ago. It is convenient to use and comes in affordable prices. Several variants of soap have been already produced to cater the needs of every person. There are beauty bars made especially for people having sensitive skin. These are often termed mas hypo allergenic products. With the convenience of using beauty bars, is there something special about body wash that can actually change the minds of the people who have been used to soaps.      Unlike beauty bars, body wash or shower gels are actually great if you have dry skin problems. The chemical components used in making shower gels are lighter and more delicate compared to those of beauty bars. This is the main reason why shower gels can totally moisturize your skin even if you use it every day. Although beauty bars have been present for ages, shower gels have its benefits that any person would surely consider.      A body wash unlike soap can be stored in a pump-type container making it really handy. Its scent stays longer in your skin unlike soap does. It produces more amount of lather, making you enjoy your bath more. It moisturizes your skin and it also comes in different variants depending on use. It is not that expensive and it can be bought in any supermarket stores just like soaps. Unlike soap it does not have any residues that can actually make your skin flaky.   
    If you are fond of shopping online for sure you have come across posts or pages selling bags, shoes, jewelries, cosmetics and other sort of trendy things. These items became really salable because sellers would claim that they have way cheaper prices compared to those items sold in malls. A buyer with a limited amount of money would sure go for a budget-friendly deal believing that he or she would get the same item being sold in malls. Other seller would even label their products as “authentic overruns” or “original overruns”.      What else should a buyer know if an item is labeled as an authentic overrun aside from the lower price it has? The truth is there is actually no such thing as “authentic overrun”. It’s just between an original one and a fake one. Yes, overruns are considered fake or counterfeit products. In support to the overrun claim, others would say that the products they are selling did not match or pass the quality standards and so they are being sold in cheaper prices. These products are still made from the original material but has some sort of imperfections and are not included in items delivered in malls and other authorized distributors. This claim sounds really convincing right?      In counterfeit items or imitations there are still classifications in terms of quality. The one considered to be the closest to the original is called an overrun, next is a replica, and it is followed by class A, class B and so on. There are some items that are really sturdy and have great quality, almost the same with the original. The price difference does matter, and if you are going to conduct a research, almost all online stores have the same price range for items. This means, their products came from the same source or the supplier for these items is the same.      There is nothing wrong in buying these kinds of stuff, who would want to spend more money if can spend less and have the item that you really like? However it is best to know the value of what you are buying for. Don’t get fooled by those sellers telling you that they are selling original items. Also, the price range for overrun items are almost the same, so don’t get fooled if you saw an item that you like in a much higher price compared to what you saw, thinking that, that  must be the original one. If the price is 50%-70% lower compared to malls, then it must have been an overrun or a replica.   
    Nowadays, people are becoming busier with their work and other sorts of responsibilities. When you have just started working, chances are you spend majority of your time working and earning a living. But it is also important to distress yourself from so much stress from the demands of your work. But how can you do it if you have very limited time left to enjoy? Food has been one of the key comforts of the people at this present time.      Wherever and whenever you go to a certain restaurant you will surely get to see a chicken on their menu. Chicken is served in all restaurants, of course except for vegans. It is one of the most handy to cook among all other meat. You can have it fried, serve it in salads, or have it as a soup and even in barbecues. People consume chicken as much as they consume rice. Aside from being versatile in terms of recipes, chicken can be cooked easily. Most of the chicken recipes do not require too much time in terms of preparation. Also, it is always available in the market, rain or shine. It is available whole year round. It doesn’t have to depend on any season at all.     Almost all are eating chicken but do you know or have you already asked yourself on which is the healthiest part of the chicken? In terms of being healthy, the breast part would surely take the win. Why it is considered to be the healthiest has something to do with its structure and component. Unlike other chicken parts, the breast is mainly composed of lean meat. It does not have any extra fat and is a good source of protein. It isn’t difficult to prepare and require little or less time compared to other parts because it does not have bones at all. Although the breast may seem not that appealing it is the healthiest part of the chicken. It is best for those who are on their diet. You will not feel guilty at all after consuming a whole chicken breast.      Now for the tastiest part, it is none other than the thighs. The drumstick is indeed popular but the thighs have tastier meat. The wings might also be a good appetizer however it contains less meat compared to the thighs, making it as appetizer but not the main dish. Chicken thighs have tastier and juicer meat compared to all others. It has the right amount of meat and it has bones to give it enough structure and for you to bite on.      However if you are a drumstick person then go for it, choose the one that makes you happy. If you are conscious with your diet then go for the breast part. In the end, it will depend on your own preference. Rest, assured that your chicken will always be there for you no matter what.