The Winners Of The Our Home Love Scholarship 2017

My Most​ Memorable Experience as a Stude​nt

            Our final exam in Social Psychology is fast approaching but there are still a lot of projects that we need to finish for our course requirements. One of the projects that I’m excited to do is to make a documentary video about a famous local fiesta or celebration. I love doing interview and meeting new people. It reflects my personality of being friendly and learning something new from the people and environment around me. I also love to travel and experience something that is unusual or something that involves risk yet worth to try. Indeed, I am an adventurer type of person. Every student in the class would agree with me that I will spend my money and resources just to try experiencing something new and would benefit me in the end. Of course, I always choose good things to try and not those kinds of things that would harm me or other people around me. My family and friends would kill me if they found out that I’m just spending my time and money to unpleasant activities. One morning, our professor in Social Psychology explained to us our groupings and the project for creating a documentary video. He mentioned to us that the video should last for 2-3 hours and it must show interviews from various people from different walks of life who participated or attended the celebration. After thorough discussion with my teammates, we decided to take the ‘Feast of Black Nazarene’ as our topic for our documentary video. We realized that the Feast of Black Nazarene is one of the unusual celebrations in the Philippines. A lot of people are trying to go near and touch the Black Nazarene or they want to wipe it with their towel at least to receive blessings. We would also like to know why there are a lot of people want to go near and wipe the image even if it is risky to their body and health.

            One week before the feast, our team prepared the materials including the cameras that we will use and the interview questions for those participants in the celebration. We also did ocular and inspection on the routes of the procession and we checked some of the spots that we can stay to take the video. During our team discussion, I suggested that I would participate on going near to the image of Black Nazarene and wipe it with a white towel. However, my team mates disagree with me because it is too risky. I explained to them that the reason why I want to try it is because I am also a believer of the miraculous image and for many years, I just stay put at the side of the procession and my uncle is the one who carries my white towel to go near the image and wipe it. I said to myself that this is my chance to experience it on my own and learn the reason why the devotees are so passionate on the tradition. Finally, the day comes that we will begin to cover the documentary video. Half of our team focused on interviewing the people around the procession while the other half focused on searching some good spots or angle to cover. I remember vividly that some of the people we interviewed said that their devotion to Black Nazarene has no limit. They said that they are willing to risk their life just to experience miracles and blessings from the Black Nazarene. I also remember that there is one person who we interviewed that struck me the most. I asked a 40-year old guy on his reason why he continues to participate on the celebration every year even though he came from the far province of Mindanao. He said that the purpose of his devotion to Black Nazarene is not only about to experience blessings and miracles in his life. He explained that going near to the image and wiping it with white towel symbolizes his journey and faithfulness to God. He further explained that traditions such as pulling the rope of the image and wiping the image using a towel are kinds of traditions that are memorable and treasured moments for the devotees. These traditions also signify their belief and hope in the Lord amidst difficulties they are experiencing in their life. The response of the guy awakens my mind and it touches my heart. For that instance, I decided to take the risk on going to the large crowd and bumping myself on many people there just to pull the rope of the image. I was successful on my attempt and suddenly tears fell down from my eyes because of happiness I felt.

                      My experience in doing a documentary video for our course requirement in Social Psychology made me realized a lot of things in life. There are times that our view in the society was influenced by the standards of the world. We often expressed our opinions because we are swayed by what we see and hear but we do not understand the true meaning behind it. Every year, during the Feast of Black Nazarene, a lot of viewers who watch at home criticize the people who risk themselves on pulling the rope of the image and it also includes those people who attempt to go near the image to wipe it using their towel. They are being criticized because some viewers thought that it is nonsense to risk your own body just to pull the rope or wipe the image. Some say that the regular tradition during the Feast of Black Nazarene is no longer good for Filipinos and its impact is just pain and loss of lives. Perhaps, the physical pain and exhaustion is true when you participate on the tradition. However, there is an essence on the pain and exhaustion when doing the tradition. The importance of sufferings allowed the devotees to receive strength and inspiration from the Lord. The whole procession is like the journey of Jesus Christ and in the end, He received the grace from God. The experience I encountered during our project is a reminder for me that there can be happiness and joy in pain and sufferings. We just need to go deeper on it and understand well the true meaning behind every situation.

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