Traslacion still suspended for 2022 amid pandemic threat
MANILA, Philippines — The annual grand procession of Black Nazarene devotees “Traslacion” will be suspended for the second consecutive year due to the pandemic, the Manila City government announced on Friday.
The procession will instead be “done through a motorcade in selected areas of the City of Manila,” the capital’s public information office said Friday.
The Manila Police District committed at least 8,000 police personnel to be deployed on the day, with additional manpower told to be on standby depending on the situation and the alert level status of the city of Manila come January 2022, the PIO also said.
The Manila PIO added that the decision was reached following consultation with Fr. Douglas Badong and other officials of Quiapo Church and the city government. Members of the Manila Police District, the Philippine Red Cross, the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, and the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau also attended the meeting.
Every January 9 of the year, millions of devotees of the Black Nazarene hold the grand procession to commemorate the transfer of the venerated image of the Black Nazarene from Intramuros, Manila to Quiapo in 1767.
The procession usually takes place from the Quirino Grandstand to the Minor Basilica or the Black Nazarene or Quiapo Church, but for 2021, the annual tradition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of the usual activities, it was announced that Quiapo Church would hold 15 masses, with only 400 visitors allowed for each mass. The Manila police said the 2021 celebration still drew an estimated 400,000 visitors.
In November, Metro Manila transitioned to Alert Level 2 with eased restrictions to spur economic activity.
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