Quiapo Church to remain closed for Feast of Black Nazarene
MANILA, Philippines — The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene popularly known as the Quiapo Church will be closed on January 9, the Feast of the Black Nazarene, to prevent devotees from crowding amid the uptick in COVID-19 cases, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said Wednesday.
In a press conference, Moreno said the management of the Quiapo Church led by Monsignor Hernando Coronel has agreed that only online Masses will be made available, as both the annual Traslacion of the Black Nazarene image — or its day-long trip the from Quirino Grandstand at the Rizal Park to the church — is also suspended.
“Ako po’y nagpapasalamat sa ating Monsignor Coronel ng Quiapo sa pagtugon nila sa pakiusap ng pamahalaang lungsod na wala muna tayong Traslacion ngayong taon na ito, at wala rin tayong physical mass, online mass lang tayo,” Moreno said.
“Mabigat po sa kalooban ko na hindi tayo magmisa ng pisikal, alam natin nakagawian na natin ‘yan […] Ipagpapasesnya po ninyo, ito’y para rin naman sa kaligtasan ninyo at ninyong mga anak o pamilya. Maraming salamat sa kaparian ng Quiapo. Uulitin natin, walang traslacion, walang physical mass, online mass tayo,” he added.
Moreno also appealed to devotees of the Black Nazarene, including the Hijos del Nazareno, to understand the situation as COVID-19 cases continue to rise amid the spread of the virus.
Due to the restrictions, the bringing of replica statues is also not allowed.
“Nauunawaan ko ang damdamin ng ating mga hijos, kahit ho kami, sa Bangkusay, meron din kaming nazareno, nalulungkot ako na hindi natin magagawa ‘yong dati nating ginagawa,” Moreno said.
“Nakikisuyo ako, wag po ninyong dadalhin, mahigpit pong ipatutupad ang mga pag-iingat,” he added.
In addition, Moreno said the Manila City government is also implementing a liquor ban from 6:00 p.m. of Jan. 8 to 6:00 a.m. of Jan. 10.
Metro Manila is currently under Alert Level 3 following a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases.
As of Tuesday, the country’s active COVID-19 infections soared to 29,809, after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 5,434 new infections.
The increase came after a relatively low number of daily cases before the holidays — ranging from 300 to 500 with the active case count down to below 10,000.
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