‘Make Feast of Black Nazarene garbage-free’
With the start of the celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila, barangay leaders and environmentalists urged devotees to support a “garbage-free fiesta.”
In a joint press release, the leaders of communities surrounding Quiapo Church and environmentalists asked devotees and visitors to work for a “maroon and green” celebration.
EcoWaste Coalition Zero Waste campaigner Tin Vergara explained that using maroon— the color of the garments of the Black Nazarene—and green to symbolize the environment shows the power of combining faith with action to protect the environment.
“Combining our people’s amazing devotion to the Black Nazarene with action respecting, nurturing and defending Mother Earth will be a powerful force of hope and deliverance against those who trash and ruin the environment,” said Vergara.
The beginning of the year marked the first day of the Novena to the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno (Black Nazarene) whose image is transferred every Jan. 9 from Rizal Park to Quiapo to commemorate the Traslacion or the image’s transfer from Bagumbayan (Rizal Park) to Quiapo 400 years ago.
According to church rector Msgr. Clemente Ignacio, around 12 million devotees are expected to visit Quiapo Church from Jan. 1 to 9. He noted that last year, at least nine million devotees joined the three-kilometer procession which lasted nine hours.
“If the millions of believers who come to Quiapo will simply not litter and avoid waste in all its forms, we’ll have a feast that is pleasing to the eyes and pleasing to the Lord,” Vergara said.
Barangay leaders aired the same appeal to devotees who will come to Quiapo during the procession and parish celebrations.
“We call on everyone, particularly the devotees, not to leave any garbage behind as they pay their respects to the Black Nazarene and seek His guidance and blessing,” said Barangay (village) 306 Zone 30 chair Joey Jamisola.
According to a statement from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, truckloads of garbage were collected from Rizal Park and Quiapo in previous processions.
On Wednesday, thousands of devotees joined the parish thanksgiving Mass and procession which took the image around Quiapo. With Niña P. Calleja
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