By Christina Hermoso
The annual Black Nazarene “traslacion” procession is a work in progress said Quiapo Church officials as they made their assessment of the January 9 procession that lasted only 16 hours, much faster than last year’s procession that took almost 22 hours.
Quiapo Church rector Monsignor Hernando Coronel said, every year was “a learning experience but most of the time there is room for improvement. This year’s traslacion was the fastest and the most orderly so far but we will assess all the complaints regarding the religious procession.”
“We will listen to all of them. It is a learning experience for all of us. What is applicable, we could apply. What is not , we have to learn from that,” Coronel said in a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines News post..
This year’s procession, which started early at 4:15 a.m. from the Quirino Grandstand, only took 16 hours, nearly five hours earlier than 2016 and one of the fastest in recent memory, Coronel noted.
“But I think the first one was really fast. There were no devotees climbing into the ‘andas’, no ropes then,” he recalled.
Organizers implemented some changes to the procession this year as it had taken a new and shorter route. A police formation early in the procession also deprived some devotees to get near and touch the revered image.
Fr. Douglas Badong, parochial vicar of Quiapo Church said, the “andas wall” was not placed to prevent devotees from getting near the image of the Black Nazarene. “It was meant to make the procession more peaceful, faster, and orderly,” he said.
“We are trying every year to improve with the help of many agencies. This time it was smoother,” said Msgr. Coronel. The Philippine National Police assessed this year’s traslacion as generally peaceful, with no reported casualties.