‘Traslacion’ of Black Nazarene suspended for 2nd year
MANILA, Philippines — The traditional traslacion of the Black Nazarene is again suspended on Jan. 9, 2022, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an official of the Quiapo Church.
Fr. Douglas Badong, parochial vicar of the Minor Basilica of Black Nazarene, also known as Quiapo Church, said the annual traslacion, or procession, would not push through following a consultation dialogue between officials of Quiapo Church and the city government of Manila, and in compliance with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) rules.
“We cannot proceed with the procession until the IATF says it’s OK, that its safe to have it,” the priest said.
Instead of the procession, Badong said a thanksgiving motorcade in selected areas of Manila would be held.
“Only the procession is canceled, but the celebration will continue,” said Badong, adding other activities, like Holy Masses, will still push through.
He said there would also be blessing of Black Nazarene replicas and replica visitation to different provinces.
This will be the second time that the yearly religious procession will be suspended since it started in January 1787 due to the continuing threat from the new coronavirus, which causes the severe respiratory disease COVID-19.
The procession, the highlight of the Feast of the Black Nazarene, attracts hundreds of thousands of devotees who walk barefoot ahead of and behind the life-size image of Christ carrying the cross while jostling for a position to touch the statue, which is believed to be miraculous.
The annual procession is a reenactment of the 1787 traslacion, meaning “transfer,” of the image from its original shrine in Bagumbayan, the present Rizal Park, to the Quiapo Church.
The procession starts at the grandstand in Luneta early in the morning of Jan. 9, winds through the major streets of Manila to its destination—Quiapo Church—taking several hours to complete. Hundreds of thousands more line the streets to watch the procession, making it a potential virus superspreader event.
According to Manila Police District director Gen. Leo Francisco, a minimum of 8,000 police personnel will be deployed during the feast itself.
He added that additional manpower may be made depending on the need of the situation and the alert level status of the city of Manila come January 2022.
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