1.5m Filipino devotees join Catholic procession

  • 1.5m Filipino devotees join Catholic procession

1.5m Filipino devotees join Catholic procession

Worshippers will walk through the streets - oftentimes barefoot - while following the statue's route for up to 22 hours.

"Every year, thousands of pilgrims from all over the country come to Manila to participate in the procession of the Black Nazarene", the executive order read.

Endless throngs of devotees, many barefooted, joined a chaotic procession for a black Jesus Christ statue in the Philippine capital on Tuesday (Jan. 9).

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

Drawn by devotees pulling on thick ropes attached to its carriage, the icon left a central Manila park with 490,000 people in tow waving white towels and chanting "Viva" ("Long live"), Manila police said.

Likewise, Balilo said that boats would be deployed in the areas under bridges where the procession would pass through.

Rev. Fr. Alexander Pardo, PRO-1chaplain, said the first procession of the Black Nazarene in San Fernando City, La Union was made possibler with the support and initiative of Chief Superintendent Romulo Sapitula, the newly-installed regional director of PRO1.

1.5m Filipino devotees join Catholic procession

The Philippines is Asia's Catholic bastion with a flock of more than 80 million.

The official also said that Estrada suspended work at the city hall except the department directly involved in the event.

Quiapo Church Parochial Vicar, Father Douglas Badong, said they were ready for the annual celebration.

A devotee for 30 years, 61-year-old Julio Castillo watched from the sidelines of the procession Tuesday after both his feet were fractured in a motorcycle accident last month, leaving him in a wheelchair. It will cover a 500-metre radius from the procession route, the Quirino Grandstand and Quiapo Church.

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

Last year, the city collected 342 tons of garbage during the festival week.