The devotion to the Black Nazarene is an expression of Folk religiosity. Most of the Filipino Catholics practice folk Catholicism. In the words of Segundo Galilea, folk religiosity “has a particular affinity with the poor because it is only in this level that people’s religiosity is consistent with their culture.” It means that through the devotion to the Black Nazarene they are able to experience solidarity with Christ or simply put, they experience Christ.
In Pedro Chirino’s account of the religion of the early Filipinos, he mentioned about the “adoration and deification of the ancestors – especially of those who distinguished themselves through valiant deeds… It was a general practice for anyone who could successfully do so to attribute divinity to his old father when the latter died.” Example of larauan is the Bulul (bul–ul) or tinagtaggu from Ifugao. It is a carved wooden image used to guard the rice crop by Ifugao and their sub-tribe Kalanguya peoples of northern Luzon. The Nazareno is a larauan because it “represents” the suffering Christ. Through the Second Council of Nicaea (787 A.D.), the Roman Catholic Church justified the inclusion of painted and carved figures in her services with these words: “Adoration is rendered to God, veneration, to the saints. Homage is paid to an image not for its sake but for the holy personages represented.”
Before the coming of the Spaniards, Filipinos kept their little idols called Larauan in memory of their departed ancestors.
“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10 & 11 NIV)
"The challenge for the contemporary 'non-Catholic' Christian churches is how to make their liturgy and other church services serve as transmitter (mediator) of Christ's power so that the congregation can have a more tangible and concrete experience of Christ."