Classes, work suspended for Nazarene feast Featured

Manila churchmen appeal for clean Black Nazarene feast

Black Nazarene celebrations expected to attract 19 million

"Let us become ecological stewards like how we protect the image of the Black Nazarene during the procession", said the priest.

"We are 100 percent ready for the feast", said Father Douglas Badong, vicar of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo district.

On January 9, the energy is expected to get insane as devotees pack the streets while the procession snakes its way through the designated streets of Manila.

This year's procession will have a new feature - 12 prayer stations that will be set up along the way.

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Manila to worship a centuries old statue of Jesus Christ known as the Black Nazarene.

The Philippine Red Cross said it had assisted more than 600 devotees who were feeling unwell, or suffered injuries during the early stages of the parade as the crowd swelled and many clamoured to reach out towards the icon.

The theme of this year's event is based on a Bible verse from the book of Corinthians: "Pag-ibig ang buklod ng ganap na pagkakaisa (Love binds us in the fullness of unity)".

If approved, the proposed liquor ban will cover the 5-kilometer radius of the procession route including Quirino Grandstand and Quiapo Church. Gen. Alan Arrojado said the troops would augment the security of the Philippine National Police (PNP). "But I have a devotion", Honey Pescante, a 24-year-old housewife from Bataan province, said.

The grand procession of the Black Nazarene is scheduled to start at 5am from the Quirino Grandstand en route to the Quiapo Church.

Also on Wednesday, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it would deploy some 1,300 personnel to help secure next week's feast.

Officials of the Manila Police District (MPD) yesterday inspected the route of the traslacion or the procession of the Black Nazarene.

Worshippers will walk through the streets - oftentimes barefoot - while following the statue's route for up to 22 hours. Instead of the eastbound lane of P. Burgos and Lagusnilad, the procession will take the westbound lane of P. Burgos.

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