MANILA, Philippines – Devotees continued to flock to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Manila to hear mass Monday as the procession from the Quirino Grandstand kicked off.
Some devotees only stopped along the road to hear mass before leaving with their replicas of the image of the Black Christ.
Elderly and young devotees flocked to the Plaza Miranda as well, where they could get a better view of the celebration through flat screen monitors.
Long-time devotee Lina Anonuevo, 52, even brought her eight-year-old grandson, despite reports of terror threats.
A resident of Sucat, Paranaque, Anonuevo said that there was no way she would miss the Feast of the Black Nazarene. Not even the threat of a possible terror attack could keep her away, she said. She called her inability to attend the procession a “sin.”
Anonuevo and her grandson will stay at the plaza until the Black Nazarene she fondly calls “Papa Nazareno” made its way into the Minor Basilica.
Meanwhile, the Manila Chapter of the Philippine Red Cross has set up tents. Parked nearby were at least four ambulances and one rescue vehicle.
Roughly 30 PRC volunteers were seen attending to some devotees inside their tents while some moved around carrying stretchers, checking on those who may need medical attention.
The personnel of the PRC however declined to provide information about their operations.
Several officers of the Manila Police District, clad in black and carrying long firearms, were also seen standing on top of the center island.