Manila road closures eyed as city gov’t still sees big number of devotees at Traslacion

By CNN Philippines Staff

The Manila City government may implement road closures for the upcoming Feast of the Black Nazarene, or the Traslacion, as it expects many devotees to still converge on the streets to celebrate this year’s event. The grand procession for 2021 was earlier canceled due to COVID-19 threat.

“I have to be honest with you, marami pa ring pupunta,” Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso told CNN Philippines’ Newsroom Weekend on Sunday.

Sa loob ng simbahan wala kaming problema kasi mayroon kaming ibibigay na mga mask at face shield at susundin pa rin nila ‘yung [limited] numbers na required. Ang only challenge ay ‘yung labas ng simbahan.”

[Translation: I have to be honest with you, a lot of people would still go there. Inside the church, we have no problem, because we can give masks and face shields, and the people will still follow the numbers required. The only challenge is outside the church.]

“We are planning to close down some roads to create more space… We will try to make more space para sa mga (for the) devotees,” he added.

Local officials and the Quiapo Church earlier agreed to cancel the much-awaited Traslacion, an annual religious spectacle which gathers millions of devotees, for 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Traslacion is traditionally celebrated every January 9 in Manila by parading the venerated image of the Black Nazarene from Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church. Filipino Catholics believe the Black Nazarene image can bring healing or lead to miracles.

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