MANILA, PHILIPPINES – January 9 is the day when the streets of Manila bleed maroon. This year, an estimated number of 2.3 million devotees follow the path of the Black Nazarene, vowing to a day of sacrifice to move the bier of the cross-carrying Jesus Christ from its Minor Basilica to Luneta in a momentous procession.
This iconic scene has made its way into the devotional apparel of the faithful and even to the casual churchgoer in Quiapo where stalls of souvenirs and charms are side-by-side. Wearing the image of Christ has gone from handkerchiefs, oils, towels, bracelets and shirts.
Graphic design studio Team Manila’s latest project, Nazareno 2020, introduces a different take on the procession’s image. Whereas a basic shirt an hijo would wear only has the image of the Nazarene with an overarching gothic print of the name, Team Manila incorporated more elements surrounding the feast.
“We included a sea of devotees as the background of the artwork. There are also elements of the Quiapo scene, the things you see on the periphery of the church – there are the ‘Manghuhula’ and the ‘Amulets,’” says Jowee Alviar, Creative Director of Team Manila.
By turning these images that have become synonymous with the Nazarene into a collage, Team Manila paints a more vivid image of the feast: the crown of thorns, and the facade of the Quiapo Church. The text indicates the last words of Christ on the cross: Ama ko, ako ay nauuhaw (Father, I thirst).
“Religion is closely tied up with some of the imagery that we use,” Alviar continues to explain. Apart from those seen in the Traslacion, he further demonstrates how religion influences the everyday scenery: “You often see a Jeepneys adorned with bible verse written in folk typography or the image of the Santo Nino airbrushed.”
The Nazareno 2020 is rich in texture and layers. It stays true to the colors gold and maroon but it has more solid colors that pop out of the black shirt where it is printed. One cannot miss the purple paisleys that only seem to float in the background until one considers the clothing of the Black Nazarene. Its deep maroon gown is enhanced by gold appliqué needle sewn into the cloth. A variant of the design bearing only the crown, text, and church’s facade is also available.
Yearly, it has become a tradition of the graphic design studio to release a capsule collection to in solidarity with the devotees; but this year’s edition is definitely an eye catcher. Nazareno 2020 is very much like Manila itself, patterns do work on theirown but are essentially more vivid together. It goes to show that elements when positioned correctly weave well into telling a visual story.
The Nazareno 2020 Shirt and Art Print are available for a limited time at Suez and Zapote for 795 php each.