- March 14, 2019 13:33
By Arabella Rochynne C. Asis
The grand procession of the sacred image of Black Nazarene in 2021 is now cancelled due to the continuous threat of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Manila Public Information Office (PIO) announced earlier today.
The decision was made together with the city officials and Quiapo Church on Thursday afternoon.
Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso also expressed his concern over millions of devotees that would annually participate in the feast, coming from different parts of the country.
“Kung libu-libo ang pupunta, isa lang sa kanila ang maimpeksyon, tapos magkakadikit-dikit pa sila, pinagpapawisan, nagkakalat ng laway, delikado po (If thousands of people will come and one gets infected with the close distance, sweat, and saliva, that is dangerous),” he tweeted.
From previous years, the barefoot procession would start as early as 4:00 a.m. at the Quirino Grandstand and would last for several hours before arriving at Quiapo Church.
Meanwhile, Quiapo Church rector Monsignor Hernando Coronel said the church will hold more masses to compensate for the cancellation and to accommodate devotees.
“Ang mangyayari po sa January 9 ay patuloy na mga misa, at ‘yung ating mga bikaryo ay ilalagay po natin sa canopy sa labas ng simbahan (What will happen on January 9 is that masses will still be continued and our vicars wil be placed at the canopy outside the church),” Coronal said in a statement posted by Manila PIO.
As reported by Metro Manila Police, last year’s Traslacion took a shorter route due to the construction of Quezon Bridge, McArthur Bridge, and Jones Bridge, while Manila PIO reported that devotees reached approximately 2.5 million during the procession that lasted for 16 hours.
(File photo from Alexzhis Mark Belga/FEU Advocate)