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Jesus and Mary encounter at ‘Dungaw’ a ‘courtesy,’ not a biblical reenactment

It is now the sixth year that thousands of devotees will be flocking to Plaza del Carmen in Quiapo, Manila to witness the "Dungaw" -- an iconic spectacle which many believe was a reenactment of Jesus Christ meeting His mother the Virgin Mary as he carried a heavy cross to His own crucifixion.

However, a day before the Traslacion 2019, a former parish priest of the Basilica Minore de San Sebastian reminded the public that the Birhen del Carmen de Sebastian will be brought out at the end of the procession to "greet" the Black Nazarene image rather than reenact the  biblical scene.

San Sebastian church priests clarified that the "Dungaw" during Traslacion was a religious courtesy.

Fr. Rommel Rubia pointed out that the image of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel will simply be brought out to "view” the image of the Black Nazarene as a symbolic gesture and will not take part of the procession.

"This is not a biblical scene kasi this is January. Ang biblical scene will happen on Good Friday," he explained on Mariz Umali's report for "24 Oras " on Tuesday.

"This is a Dungaw -- a religious courtesy na pag may lumabas na image, pag may procession, at hindi kasama 'yung religious image processional image, idinudungaw sa bintana," he added.

The tradition of Dungaw in Spanish roughly translates to “viewing or looking at something or somebody from a window."

Rubia said the church is now clarifying the story behind the Dungaw, so that the public will bear in mind the correct information.

Nevertheless, the tradition is no small occasion for Filipino devotees.

Rubia emphasized that two religious treasures, which actually have the same origin that dates back 400 years, will be at the same place at the same time.

"Ang image ng Nazareno at ang image ng Del Carmen were brought by the Recollects to the Philippines in the 1600s. So this will be now the opportunity for the people to see the two venerated images of Quiapo brought by the Recollects na magtagpo ulit," the priest said.

The Black Nazarene was is believed to have been brought to the Philippines at around the same time the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was gifted by Mexican Carmelite nuns to traveling Recollect missionaries in 1618. —Kaela Malig, Margaret Claire Layug/ LDF, GMA News