CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 09 January) – Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Jose Cabantan expressed concern that most of the 10,000 attendees of the Traslacion or the procession of the Black Nazarene on Monday here were elderly devotees.
He lamented that the Generation Z (Gen Z) and the millennials “are shifting away from traditional religious rituals in favor of social media and activities designed for the youth.”
Gen Z, also known as zoomers, iGeneration or centennials, is the generation cohort following millennials, born between 1997 and 2012.
“The young (people) seem to not appreciate that religious rituals like the Black Nazarene helps fortify their faith,” the prelate said.
The Traslacion or the procession of the life-sized replica of a dark-skinned, kneeling Jesus Christ was held from the Cagayan de Oro Metropolitan Cathedral to the San Juan Nazareno parish church in Barangay Lapasan early Monday morning.
Despite pointing out the low youth attendance, Cabantan, however, was elated by this morning’s turnout.
“Despite two years of absence because of the COVID-19 pandemic, people still pray to the Black Nazarene. Sadly, the youth was not there,” Cabantan said.
Father Der John Faborada, head of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro’s social communication department, said the absence of the youth was understandable since classes in all religious schools in the city resumed on Monday.
Faborada said the other youth activities of the archdiocese were well-attended by young members.
Compared to Manila, devotees in Cagayan de Oro were allowed to celebrate the Traslacion or the traditional long procession transferring the image of the Black Nazarene.
This is the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic reared its ugly head in 2020 that the city held the Traslacion anew.
During the two years of the pandemic, the image of the Black Nazarene was transported on top of a small truck and paraded around the city.
Nick Jabagat, of the Cagayan de Oro Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, said that at least 10,000 devotees braved the inclement weather brought by the trough of a low pressure area off Mindanao to attend the procession.
Jabagat said medical responders attended to two devotees, one identified as Ralph del Puerto, 56, of Barangay 26 this city, after they complained of dizziness. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)