Jan 9 is holiday in Manila due to Traslacion

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 02 2017 02:39 PM

The city government of Manila has declared January 9 as a holiday in celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene, according to the city tourism office. 

The Feast of the Black Nazarene is one of the country's biggest religious activities as Filipino Catholics flock to the metro to join an hours-long procession that is usually marred by injuries and deaths.

Officials of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene earlier said around 15 million to 18 million guests and devotees are expected to flock to Quiapo Church from December 31 to January 10, 2017.

Chief Inspector John Guiagui of the Plaza Miranda Police Station said security preparations for the feast have been underway since November.

He added that around 1,000 policemen will be deployed in different areas and will be on full alert to check not only points of convergence but also inns and hotels near the procession route.

Last year, police said about 1.5 million people took part in the seven-kilometer (4.5-mile) parade, which runs from the park to the icon's home inside the downtown Quiapo church. 

Crowned with thorns and bearing a cross, the Nazarene statue was brought to Manila by Augustinian priests in 1607, early on in Spain's 400-year colonial rule.

It is believed by some to have been partially burnt and blackened when the galleon carrying it caught fire on a voyage from Mexico, another Spanish colony at the time. with Agence France Presse