An official of the Quiapo Church has appealed to the government to increase the number of attendees allowed inside the church during masses on the Feast Day of the Black Nazarene on Jan. 9.
In an interview with DZMM on Wednesday, Fr. Douglas Badong, parochial vicar of Quiapo Church, asked the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to consider expanding the church capacity to 50% even just for the feast day.
“Kung may nakikinig na IATF, kahit sa Jan. 9 lang, medyo dagdagan [yung capacity]…sana maconsider lang mapayagan kahit 50 percent para mas marami po iyong ma-accomodate sa loob ng simbahan. Tinitiyak naman namin na merong social distancing sa loob (If there are any members of the IATF that is listening, I hope that you can consider, just on Jan. 9, to expand the church’s capacity to 50 percent so that we can accommodate more devotees inside the church. Rest assured that there will be social distancing inside the church),” Badong said.
Currently, the Quiapo Church can only allow 300 attendees per mass or 30 percent of its capacity. The same rule will apply on the day of the feast.
To save space within church premises, Badong also discouraged devotees from bringing big replicas of the Black Nazarene, particularly those with carriages.
“Sa Jan. 9, wag na pong dalhin, dahil sayang po ‘yung espasyo na i-co-consume ng replica (On Jan. 9, please do not bring your huge replicas because they will occupy the space intended for devotees),” Badong said.
Badong said those who will bring huge replicas on the feast day will be prohibited from entering the church premises.
The priest said devotees can bring their huge replicas for a blessing on other days and not on Jan. 9.
Small replicas will be allowed, according to Badong.
He called on the devotees to observe discipline on the day of the feast.
“Ibayong pag iingat ang dapat nating pairalin, disiplina, mag malasakit tayo sa bawat isa. Wag natin pairalin ang tigas ng ulo dito sa araw na ito. (On the day of the feast, let us observe caution, discipline, and let us show concern for one another. Let us not be hard-headed),” he said.