No guns or drones in Manila for Black Nazarene events
MANILA, Philippines —A gun ban is to be strictly enforced in Manila while areas of the city where Black Nazarene events will be held are declared as “no-fly zones” for drones, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) announced on Thursday.
To ensure safety, the NCRPO also said that all permits to carry firearms outside of residence are suspended for five days throughout Manila, starting 12:01 a.m. of January 5 to 12:01 a.m. of January 10.
“This is to ensure that the Traslacion will be purged from firearm-related incidents and to ensure the safety of the devotees,” the NCRPO said in a statement.
Members of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other Law Enforcement Agencies performing official duties and wearing uniforms are allowed to carry firearms.
Also, the airspace in the vicinity of the Quirino Grandstand and the Quiapo Church is declared as “no fly zones” for drones from noon of January 6 to noon of January 20, according to the NCRPO.
All the ports and waterways near the vicinity of the venue will be secured as well.
Police are still expecting devotees attending the Black Nazarene activities to reach the pre-pandemic level of around 5 million despite the cancellation of the Traslacion or the procession of the image of the Black Nazarene from Rizal Park to the Quiapo Church.
The Traslacion or the Black Nazarene procession, has been canceled for the third consecutive time. It was first canceled in 2021, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the country.
The annual procession is a reenactment of the 1787 Traslacion or the solemn transfer of the Black Nazarene image from its original shrine in Bagumbayan (now present Rizal Park) to the Quiapo Church.
However, other Black Nazarene proceedings will go on, such as the hourly celebration of the Holy Mass at the Quiapo Church and the Mass at the Quirino Grandstand to be organized by the Archdiocese of Manila, according to Fr. Earl Valdez, attached priest of the Quiapo Church.
Instead of the traditional “Pahalik,” where the Black Nazarene’s image is kissed, devotees are allowed just to touch the image, Valdez said.
Also, instead of the Traslacion, there will be a “Walk of Faith” procession from the Quirino Grandstand to the Quiapo Church. The image of the Black Nazarene will not be present in the “Walk of Faith.” Devotees can bring hand-carried small replicas of Black Nazarene images (2 feet and below), rosaries, and other small religious images.
The annual 10-day observance of the Feast of Black Nazarene begins on December 31 and ends on January 9.
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