Expect many more people than last year to join 2020 Traslacion, priest says

Published January 6, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Leslie Ann Aquino

Hordes of people, many more than last year, are expected to attend the Feast of the Black Nazarene which is highlighted by the annual “Traslacion” (transfer procession) of the image on Jan. 9.


Father Douglas Badong, parochial vicar of Quiapo Church, said they expect there will be more people because the image is expected to return to the church on a Friday which is considered Quiapo Day, a day when many people hear mass at the church.

“That’s what we are preparing for, because if the mass is ongoing and the image returns on a Friday, we have to think of the people inside [the church] since these are usually the elderly,” he said.

But Badong said they are not after the number, rather they are after having more real devotees. “We want the real devotees to increase, not the so called fanatics.”

Church officials also expect a faster procession this year due to the slight change in route.

“If based on route it will be faster…but it still depends on the attitude of the “mamamasan” (devotees carrying the statue plinth) and if they will cooperate,” said Badong.

“I’m praying. Let’s see if this new approach will succeed or not. We leave it to the Nazareno, but we will try,” Quiapo Church rector Monsignor Hernando Coronel said.

The priest was referring to the more than 2,000 police who will surround the “andas” or carriage of the image during the procession for a faster “Traslacion.”

Coronel will also join the police in forming the “andas” wall up to a certain point.

The formation will be similar to that of the Thanksgiving procession held last Dec. 31, although Badong has said the devotees will not be prevented from touching the image from the back.

Coronel also expressed hope that the procession will be more solemn and orderly. “Let the Traslacion 2020 be a solemn occasion.”

Devotees are asked to bring candles for the midnight mass to be said by Coronel at the Quirino Grandstand on Jan. 9 with Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle as homilist. The procession will be held at 5:30 a.m. after the morning prayer.

As in previous years, there will be prayer stations along the procession route to help devotees better reflect.

Church officials already announced that the procession will pass through Ayala Bridge as Jones Bridge, McArthur Bridge, and Quezon Bridge are undergoing retrofitting.

Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso has ordered the suspension of classes in both public and private schools at all levels, as well as city government work, in Manila on Jan. 9 “in observance of the annual Traslacion,” according to a tweet by the city information officer.

The Feast of the Black Nazarene usually draws hordes of devotees from all over the country who walk barefooted with the image in procession as a sign of penance and thanksgiving for favors received.

The Black Nazarene is a life-sized, dark-colored, wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ that was brought to Manila by Augustinian priests in 1607. Tradition holds that it got its color after it was burned in a fire on the Spanish galleon carrying it.