“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless societies.”
-Karl Marx

EVERY year after the end of the six- kilometer long trek that commemorates the transfer in 1787 of the Black Nazarene from the Recollect seminary in Intramuros (the old walled city ) to Quiapo Church, the country’s religious inevitably lament the “fanaticism” devotees display as the procession wends its way through Manila’s mean streets.

This year was no different — although, from the usual two million, estimates of the number of devotees who joined the 22-hour, longest-running procession ever who displayed a level of alleged fanaticism that might well be the envy and despair of other religions here and abroad, were this time between three to four million.

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