Anna Gabrielle Cerezo, ABS-CBN News
MANILA -- Hundreds of devotees flocked to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Quiapo Church on Friday, a day before the annual commemoration of the Traslacion.
The local government of Manila has ordered the cancellation of this year's grand procession of the Black Nazarene, which draws millions of Catholics to the streets, in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
In lieu of the solemn transfer which usually takes about 20 hours, the Quiapo Church will celebrate 15 masses on January 9.
Only 400 churchgoers, however, can enter the basilica. Filipinos may opt to hear the masses online as these will also be aired via Facebook live.
Aside from Quiapo Church, Sta. Cruz Church and the San Sebastian Church will also hold masses on Saturday.
The Traslacion is one of the biggest religious events in the world. Millions of Filipino devotees gather on the streets yearly, seeking the supposed miraculous healing powers of the Black Nazarene.