Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Manila all set for bigger Black Nazarene feast

Manila all set for bigger Black Nazarene feast

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada suspended classes and city government work for Tuesday, January 9, when devotees will mark the Feast of the Black Nazarene.

"He already signed the Executive Order suspending classes in all public and private schools on January 9", he added.

Nineteen million people are expected to celebrate the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila next week.

Rev. Fr. Alexander Pardo, PRO-1chaplain, said the first procession of the Black Nazarene in San Fernando City, La Union was made possibler with the support and initiative of Chief Superintendent Romulo Sapitula, the newly-installed regional director of PRO1.

Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, newly designated commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Joint Task Force National Capital Region, said he would deploy a battalion of soldiers to assist police in securing the procession.

Officials of the Manila Police District (MPD) and Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (Quiapo Church) on Wednesday inspected the route of the annual procession.

But church officials and sociologists say devotees see the event as a challenge.

The Philippines is Asia's Catholic bastion with a flock of more than 80 million.

Quiapo Church Parochial Vicar, Father Douglas Badong, said they were ready for the annual celebration.

A devotee reaches out to touch a replica of the Black Nazarene.

Traslacion is the commemoration of the transfer of the image of the Black Nazarene from its original home in Intramuros to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene Church in Quiapo on January 9.

The priest said he hopes that this year's procession can be over in 12 hours. It will cover a 500-metre radius from the procession route, the Quirino Grandstand and Quiapo Church.

Msgr. Hernando Coronel of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene discusses the route of the Traslacion at a news briefing. "But I have a devotion", Honey Pescante, a 24-year-old housewife from Bataan province, said.

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