The annual procession and feast day Of the Black Nazarene is a good opportunity to inspire Filipinos to have a different outlook on life and motivate them to look forward to a “peaceful Philippines,” Malacañang said.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement, as he encouraged the Catholic faithful to ensure an orderly and solemn observation of the Feast of the Black Nazarene.
“Today, January 9, the Palace joins the Filipino Catholic faithful, particularly the Nazarene devotees, in the passionate and devotional observance of the Feast of the Black Nazarene,” the Palace official said in a statement.
“It is a good opportunity to strengthen our Christian ties with each other and move us to spiritual awakening and rebirth that will contribute enormously to having the peaceful Philippines,” he added.
This year’s Traslacion or the annual procession of the Black Nazarene started to move past 4 a.m. on Thursday from the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.
Millions of devotees are expected to join the annual religious event this year.
Panelo said the annual celebration is a “strong and a constant” reminder of Filipinos have a “deep and lasting” relationship with the Almighty.
“As millions flock the Quiapo Church and surrounding areas as part of the time-honored tradition, the Palace is one in wishing for the safety of everyone and the orderly conduct of this solemn event,” the Palace official said.
“Viva Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno!” he added.
The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has released an updated route for Traslacion, a centuries-old Catholic practice that transfers the Black Nazarene statue in a carriage from the Quirino Grandstand to its home in Quiapo Church in Manila.
The MMDA route map showed that the traditional religious procession will be 300 meters shorter than the usual procession stretch due to renovation activities being undertaken on Jonas and MacArthur bridges.
The Health Department announced that around 20 medical teams will be deployed during the January 9 procession of the Black Nazarene.
Around three million devotees of the Black Nazarene joined the 21-hour procession last year.
Work and classes in the city of Manila on Thursday have been suspended to pave way for the religious event.
Some 16,000 security personnel from the National Capital Region Police Office, Bureau of Fire Protection, Metro Manila Development Authority, Coast Guard, and volunteers will be deployed to ensure safe and solemn procession of the Black Nazarene.
Telecommunications firms Smart and Globe have also announced that they will temporarily shut down their network services in parts of Metro Manila beginning 11 p.m. on Wednesday until noon on Friday. (PNA)