Today, January 9, 2017 is the feast day and procession of the Black Nazarene, a life-sized statue of a dark-skinned Jesus Christ carrying the cross enshrined in the Minor Basilica of the Nazarene in Quiapo.
The procession of the Black Nazarene is the largest procession in the country. The life-sized statue of Christ is carried through town by barefooted men yelling "Viva Senor," while huge crowd tries to touch the statue. People who touch it are reported to sometime be healed of diseases.
Coco Martin, a Kapamilya actor is one of the celebrities who are devotees of the Black Nazarene.
Coco reminisced how the Black Nazarene had changed his life. He has been a devotee eversince he got the chance to touch the Nazarene while doing film in 2007 -- "Tirador" or slingshot, an independent film which illustrates politics and faith in the Philippines, as well as the plight of Filipinos who live in poverty.
Coco participated in the procession together with thousands of devotees and got the chance to touch the statue. After his experience in the procession, Coco said his career started to boom.
Coco said in an interview: "Sabi ko, Lord bigyan niyo lang ako ng trabaho kahit ano. Kasi that time hindi pa ako artista eh.
'Kahit ano po' sabi ko 'hindi ko tatanggihan 'yan' basta regular."
"Tapos mula noong nahawakan ko yung Nazarenong 'yon, mula nung araw na yun hanggang ngayon hindi na ako huminto sa pagtatrabaho. Kaya sabi ko nga lagi, anong karapatan kong magreklamo?"
The actor regularly visits the Black Nazarene in Quiapo and has been extending help to the people and the church. This year, even before the feast, Martin has already visited Quiapo Church to thank the Black Nazarene for all the blessings that he received in 2016.
Coco still participates in the Traslacion, despite being a well-known actor. Each time he joins the procession, he removes his clothes and covers his face as if he is a ninja.
Among celebrities who are devotees of the Black Nazarene are Noli De Castro, Angeline Quinto, Amy Austria and Giselle Sanchez.