MANILA, Philippines - Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim ordered the cancellation of classes on Wednesday in selected city-run schools that would be affected by the procession of the Black Nazarene.
Lim said that he would order the suspension of classes in the following schools: Manila Science High School; Araullo High School; Geronimo Santiago Elementary School; V Mapa High School; Manila High School; Ramon Avancena High School; Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila; and the Universidad De Manila (previously called City College of Manila).
Lim said that the schools covered by the suspension of classes are only those under the jurisdiction of the city government.
As for the private educational institutions in the city, Lim said he would leave it up to the officials of these respective schools to decide on whether classes should be canceled during the Feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9.
"I do not wish to interfere with the decision of the private schools if they would call off classes on Wednesday," said Lim.
"But, may I suggest that they suspend the classes especially those schools situated in the university belt because these are near the routes of the procession of the Black Nazarene," he added.
As for the other schools within the city of Manila but would not be affected by the route, Lim said they would have classes on Wednesday.
Every year, classes in several schools in Manila City are disrupted as hundreds of thousands of devotees flock to the city to participate in the annual Feast of the Black Nazarene.
Many Catholic faithful regard the image of the Black Nazarene as miraculous.
People from all walks of life and from far away provinces visit the Quiapo Church (officially called the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene), that houses the religious image, and ask for favors or petitions.
In return, they make the "panata" and pledge to join the yearly procession.