Quantcast
Latest Stories

Black Nazarene procession: Hopefully faster, safer, cleaner, sober

By

SHELTERING SEÑOR A replica of the iconic Black Nazarene is housed in a tent outside Quiapo church in Manila on Thursday, ahead of the Jan. 9 grand procession that is expected to draw six to eight million devotees. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

To avoid a repeat of last year’s procession that took 22 hours to finish, the carriage that will bear the iconic image of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo has been redesigned for smoother, faster movement amid crushing waves of barefoot devotees, officials said on Thursday.

Monsignor Clemente Ignacio, rector of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Manila, said organizers expect 6 to 8 million worshippers to attend the grand procession from Rizal Park to the statue’s sanctuary in Quiapo on Jan. 9.

And unlike last year, the police said there was no “imminent or specific” terror threat looming over this year’s rites, which is considered one of the most spectacular religious events in the predominantly Catholic country.

“The andas (carriage) has been redesigned by a committee and this was tested during Good Friday. It runs more smoothly and is faster,” Ignacio said in a press conference.

The Black Nazarene procession—centering on the dark, scarlet-robed Christ bearing the cross—is famous for drawing millions of barefoot devotees, mostly men, who risk injury jostling for position to touch the image or at least the ropes used to pull the carriage.

Others inch their way toward the carriage to have their handkerchiefs dabbed on the 17th century image with the help of other devotees, believing the contact would “bless” the piece of cloth and give it healing powers.

Fr. Ricardo Valencia Jr., a member of the organizing committee, said his group had learned its lesson from last year’s mishap, when the wheels of carriage broke off hours after the procession began.

The carriage then finally made it to the basilica after 22 hours, making the 2012 procession the longest ever in the history of the annual religious festival.

“Learning from that experience, we have strengthened the structure (of the carriage) and changed the tires. Last year, the wheels were inflatable (types). We’ve changed that and they’re now solid tires, like the ones used for forklifts,” Valencia said.

“If these wheels are still damaged, then we will have to use the type used for battle tanks,” the priest added in jest.

Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director, said more than 3,000 policemen and soldiers will be deployed to provide security along the route.

“I would like to underscore the fact that there’s no specific or imminent threat. We will also have 1,000 policemen guarding our barangays to prevent criminals from taking advantage of the situation,” Espina said at the press conference.

But Espina would not say if mobile phone signals would again be jammed in the area covered by the procession. Authorities took this supposed counter-terrorist measure last year after President Aquino himself warned of a possible threat.

Romeo Fajardo, deputy administrator of the Office of Civil Defense, said the government would deploy 65 ambulances and put up 28 medical stations and six evacuation centers along the route. At least 15 rubber boats would be on standby along the Pasig River, he added.

The procession will start around 7 a.m. after an overnight vigil and High Mass to be celebrated by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle at Quirino Grandstand. It will then pass through 23 streets in Manila before ending at the basilica.

Ignacio discouraged pregnant women from getting near the crowded route for their own safety, and urged devotees not to bring along little children or light up firecrackers.

Street vendors could help curb littering along the route by bringing their own trash bins or bags, he added.

Manila Mayor Alfredo also issued a warning: Whether you’re joining or just watching the procession, don’t show up drunk.

Lim said an ordinance banning drinking in public places will be strictly enforced. “Don’t drink during the feast. Because once you get intoxicated, that’s when violence erupts,” he said.—With a report from Erika Sauler

 


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Black Nazarene procession , Faith and Belief , Manila , Philippines - Metro , Religion , Tradition




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Drilon denies involvement in pork scam
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Malang the croc must regain strength before return to swamp, says mayor
  • Palace: Lacson’s version of Napoles testimony to be evaluated
  • Scientists eye iceberg bigger than Guam
  • Sports

  • Guiao summoned by PBA for name-calling incident
  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement