Millions expected to join Black Nazarene feast

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 02 2017 01:54 PM

Around 15 million to 18 million guests and devotees are expected to flock Quiapo Church throughout the duration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene from December 31 to January 10, 2017.

In a press briefing on Monday morning, the leaders of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene released the logo and theme for this year's celebration based on the book of Colossians.

Fr. Douglas Badong of Quiapo Church advised those planning to join the feast activities to prepare themselves physically, emotionally and spiritually.

He also encouraged adult devotees to guide young devotees as some have likened the feasts to a competition as to who gets closest to the image of the Black Nazarene.

He also reminded devotees planning to kiss the image of the Black Nazarene during the translacion, that they have all year-round to do so at the church.

Fr. Badong reiterated the real meaning of the procession--to have a deeper connection with God.

No changes were made to the procession route on January 9. However there are minor changes in the route for the procession of the replicas on January 7, details which have not yet been specified.

Meanwhile,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.

Police are also coordinating with the Manila Engineering Office to ensure that holes along the route will be covered to avoid injuries.

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.