MANILA – The traditional procession of the statue of the Black Nazarene, expected to last for almost a day, started on Thursday morning, with devotees getting more uncontrollable as they fight their way to get near the venerated image.
The procession began after the mass presided by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, but some devotees were scolded by some priests after they attempted to get near the image even before the mass could end.
The annual "traslacion," which begins once the image is transferred to the carriage or "andas", started at Quirino Grandstand past 7 a.m. Some 12 million devotees are expected to participate in the procession and force their way towards the image of the dark-skinned Jesus Christ. The procession is expected to take more or less 18 hours.
Scenes of devotees getting rowdy are not unusual in this annual profession of faith, as everyone believes that getting in contact with the image of the Black Nazarene would have their prayers answered. Others, meanwhile, have made it their vow to endure the thick crowd as a way of showing their faith.
From Quirino Grandstand, the statue 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.