The play in the performance of panatà to the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila, demonstrates an authentic religiosity that is manifested in materiality, and a modernity that is indigenous. The paper operates within the framework of a panatà (devotion) as: (1) a personal (even inherited) secret vow; (2) that is performed publicly; and (3) is directed towards touching and being touched by God. The first part discusses the dynamics of how petition and thanksgiving are interior movements that reflect útang-na-loób (debt of gratitude) as dasál (prayer). But this movement, although essentially personal and secret, can only be expressed in the communal and public performance of the yearly procession (traslación). The second part discusses this public and communal “translation” of the Black Nazarene as a construction of a relationship with the sacred that is embodied and embedded. And the third part investigates the encounter (hierophany) through the appropriation of the poón (icon) within the dynamics between hirap (difficulty, suffering, poverty) and ginhawa (rest, relief, ease) in the kalye (streets) of Manila.


Panatà, Devotion, debt-of-gratitude, informality, modern religiosity, Hirap-Ginhawa,

Please login first to access subscription form of article

Read Full text in PDF

Browse By

Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)