MANILA – The image of the Black Nazarene was transferred to Quirino Grandstand on Monday evening in preparation for its annual procession to the Basilica Minore in Quiapo on Thursday.
Security around the image remains tight, even as organizers have started allowing devotees to begin their "pahalik" tradition which is supposed to formally start at 1 p.m. Wednesday, January 8.
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed around the image and bomb-sniffing dogs are roving the area round-the-clock.
As of Tuesday morning, organizers were still setting up the stage for the vigil that will start at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and end at 4 a.m. the following day.
The procession of the image towards the basilica will begin 7:30 a.m. on January 9 right after the mass presided by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. Some 12 million devotees are expected to join the procession.
The procession, also referred to as "traslacion," will skip the MacArthur Bridge this year due to concerns over the bridge's stability.
From the Quirino Grandstand, the image of the Black Nazarene will be brought through Katigbak Drive, Padre Burgos, straight through Taft Avenue, and then to Jones Bridge instead of MacArthur Bridge.
The procession will then turn right to Escolta, left to Quezon Boulevard, Arlegui, Fraternal, right to Vergara Street, and Duque de Alba Street.
From there, it will pass through Castillejos, Farnecio, Arlegui, Nepomuceno, Aguila, Carcer, then straight to Hidalgo towards Plaza del Carmen, Bilibid Viejo, Puyat, Guzman, Hidalgo, Barbosa, Globo de Oro, Palanca, Lanace, Villalobos, and then back to Plaza Miranda. – with a report from Francis Faulve, ABS-CBN News