Despite travel advisory from European countries and the United States of America regarding the annual Traslacion, or the ceremonial procession of the iconic Black Nazarene figure of Jesus Christ that retraces the path it took from its original location in Intramuros to its present shrine in Quiapo, Manila, this did not stop foreign tourists curious about the tradition to observe, and in some cases, even take part, aside from local tourists coming from other parts of the country.

In a report by PTV4 reporter Aljo Bendijo, tourists from Hokkaido, Japan and a Caucasian priest observed the festivities and the culture surrounding it that makes for a unique experience, with policemen and soldiers standing guard to ensure the religious event goes smoothly.

Foreign tourists curious about Traslacion however, is not new; they’re just not easy to spot due to the number of people around. But they have been reported to be prominent as early as 2013, but noted by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, to be rising in significant numbers as early as 2008, in regards to foreign devotees. Some even have participated in the ‘pahalik’, or kissing of the feet/touching of the icon, of the Black Nazarene.