19M devotees seen to attend Black Nazarene festivities

MANILA — Some 19 million devotees are expected to participate in various activities, including the grand procession in celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9.

According to Manila Police District-Traffic Enforcement Unit (MPD-TEU) head Superintendent Lucile Faycho, they are looking at more people joining this year’s activities as shown in the number of attendees in the last six years.

“For the (several) days of celebration, we had 18 million last year. Now, we are expecting an increase of 5 percent also,” she said in a press conference for the annual celebration on Wednesday.

The estimated crowd includes those attending novena masses at the Quiapo Church and also those who will be joining the activities at the Quirino Grandstand.

On the other hand, Quiapo Church Parochial Vicar Fr. Douglas Badong said they are ready for the annual celebration.

“We are 100 percent ready. Actually, we already started last December 31,” he added.

However, there are no numbers available on how many will join the Traslacion or the procession of the Black Nazarene on Tuesday from Luneta to Quiapo Church.

The organizers said the use of black trash bags is prohibited, drones are not allowed to fly in all activity areas and there would be cellphone signal interruption.

Based on the scheduled activities, the procession of the replica images is set on Sunday (January 7) at 2 p.m. at the Quiapo Church.

This will be followed by the start of the “Pahalik” at the Quirino Grandstand at 6 a.m. and the prayer vigil at 5 p.m. on Monday.

The mass will take place at midnight to be followed by the morning prayers at 4 a.m. on Tuesday.

The grand procession of the Black Nazarene is scheduled to start at 5 a.m. from the Quirino Grandstand en route to the Quiapo Church. Ferdinand Patinio/PNA – northboundasia.com