MANILA - Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada announced Friday the suspension of classes in all levels in the city on January 9 amid the Feast of the Black Nazarene.
Estrada, though Executive Order 41, said the decision was made to address public order and safety concerns.
At least 10 million devotees are expected to participate in the Feast of the Black Nazarene, organizers said.
City officials and members of "Task Force Nazareno" have been meeting at a command center in Quiapo church to discuss their preparations.
Other government agencies are also joining the discussions.
The mass is expected to start at 7 a.m., followed by the procession.
From the Quirino Grandstand, the statue of the Black Nazarene will pass through Katigbak Drive, Padre Burgos, straight through Taft Avenue, and then MacArthur Bridge, Quezon Boulevard, Arlegui, Fraternal, turn left to Vergara Street, Duque de Alba Street, and then to Nepomuceno.
From there, it will pass through Castillejos, Farnecio, Arlegui, Nepomuceno, Aguila, Carcer, then straight to Hidalgo towards Plaza del Carmen, Bilibid Viejo, Guzman, Hidalgo, Barbosa Globo de Oro, Palanca, and then back to Plaza Miranda.
Meanwhile, some priests are calling on the faithful to start their spiritual preparation this early and reflect on the significance of their faith in the Nazarene.
Around 6,000 personnel, including policemen, will be deployed to maintain peace and order during the procession.
Authorities will also release hotline numbers where the public can report untoward incidents. - with a report from Zyann Ambrosio, ABS-CBN News; ANC