Viral: Pictures of virtual Traslacion 2021 in Roblox resurface

January 11, 2024 - 12:58 PM
Roblox_Traslacion 2024
Commemoration of Traslacion 2024 in the gaming system Rolox as posted by the Roblox Filipino Catholics on Facebook in Jan. 10, 2023 (rfc.rblx/Facebook)

An old virtual celebration of the Traslacion in an open-world gaming system went viral on the X platform as Catholics celebrated the commemoration of the transfer of the Black Nazarene this year.

Some Pinoy X users on January 9 shared screengrabs taken from Roblox in 2021 which featured digital setups of the religious procession, including the Quiapo Church, where the replica of the Black Nazarene settles.

“Since it’s Feast of the Black Nazarene today, [I] am once again thinking about the Roblox Traslacion,” a user wrote, sharing a screengrab of a setup complete with a live view of a rosary praying from Quaipo Church.

“I love it,” the user wrote in the replies thread, sharing more pictures.

Another user, Ralph, also mentioned that he was able to attend the virtual Traslacion in Roblox before during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Literal may prusisyon tapos ang saya nung mga tao, umikot talaga kami with the Nazareno tapos may usher pa sa mass ‘pag pakalat-kalat ka, papaupuin ka??? Wild???” he recalled.

Ralph’s screengrabs from the game included players seated in pews with dialogue balloons of “Amen.”

Both of the users’ screengrabs were taken from the virtual Traslacion event in Roblox in 2021.

Ralph’s post was spotted by the Roblox Filipino Catholics (RFC) community, which mentioned that they also commemorated the current Traslacion online.

The RFC said that this year’s virtual Traslacion took two hours, the “shortest” one in Roblox’s history.

There were also over 150 players who attended the event, it added.

The RFC said that this year’s Traslacion was presided over by Quiapo Rector Lb. Kgg. Francis Luis a Miller.

It also shared links to the Roblox group and its equivalent Discord server.

According to GMA News Online, members of the RFC are Pinoy Catholics who wish to be part of different churches and celebrations on the platform.

Its founders are David Torres and Martin Alix, who created the community in 2014.

They also explained the virtual Traslacion event they held in 2021, which recently trended on social media as Pinoy Catholics commemorated the religious event last Tuesday.

“When we heard that there would be no Traslacion for 2021, we gathered the ideas of how we would be able to retain or retain at least a semblance of normalcy during the pandemic because it was taking a toll,” Torres explained.

“Not only for the people, but especially for the kids, for teens, [and] for those who are very fervent in their faith,” he added.

Alix also explained that the Traslacion 2021 was a product of an “ongoing project.”

“Matagal na din kami nagpro-processions and other religious events sa Roblox early as 2014. Nung simula pa lang, meron na kaming mini Traslacion, pero on a parang fake game lang na parang, inilalabas namin [ang] Nazareno tapos iikot lang namin on one street, tapos babalik na din sa simbahan,” he said.

Torres said that the masses in Roblox are “simulated” and have “no sacramental value.”

This year, they partnered with Quiapo Church to promote the event.

Torres added that while they anticipated a lower turnout this year due to the resumption of Traslacion’s physical commemoration, the RFC continued the tradition for younger people who are interested in their faith.

“Mahalaga na patuloy na magkaroon ng mga ganitong digitization kasi nakita namin na there was a thirst for this during the pandemic,” he said.

“Also, because it continues to immortalize, and it also gives an avenue for other people from other countries to be able to see the beauty of Catholicism in the Philippines. It’s beyond novelty, but it is an important aspect now of Catholicism to have that digital reminder as always,” Torres continued.

He explained that they wanted to bring the tradition of Traslacion in Roblox so they “could reach those who are not really ‘churched.'”

“Pope Francis encourages the youth to go towards the peripheries, and one of the peripheries that we identified is social media [and] the internet, where the digital natives are no longer that religious,” Torres said.

He also revealed that they have partnered with more municipalities to virtually celebrate the upcoming Holy Week this year, including Lenten Rites.

Roblox is one of the most popular virtual playgrounds among gamers.

It allows them to play various user-created games or create one. They can also make friends, talk to developers of user-created games or join others in creating games within the platform.

The Traslacion 

Earlier this week, Filipino devotees resumed the physical commemoration of Traslacion after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

The annual grand procession centers on the transfer of the replica of the Black Nazarene, a wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ carrying the cross, from the Quirino Grandstand to the Quiapo Church.

The image is deemed miraculous by its believers, who often walk barefoot as a sign of penance.

The procession serves as a reenactment of Jesus’ journey to Cavalry, where he was crucified.