MANILA—Some Black Nazarene devotees on Friday trooped to Quiapo Church to observe Holy Week, despite renewed, hard lockdown measures imposed in the capital region to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Jasmine Carlit walked barefoot from Diliman, Quezon City, to Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene for more than 2 hours as part of her Good Friday devotion.
"I pray everything will go back soon to normal and those who are sick be cured from any disease," she told ABS-CBN News in Filipino.
Good Friday is the day Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ during Holy Week, the most important week on the Christian liturgical calendar. It is the second consecutive Easter season under COVID-19 restrictions.
As a yearly practice, some devotees go to Quiapo Church for the procession of the Black Nazarene, a darkened image of the suffering Christ believed to hold healing powers.
The police dispersed the small crowd as mass gathering is prohibited while Metro Manila and 4 surrounding provinces are placed under enhanced community quarantine, the strictest of 4 quarantine measures.
In Tondo, the traditional practice of self-flagellation was evident, as men whipped their back until it bled as a form of penitence.
In the same district, a number of people took to the streets to be near Sto. Niño de Tondo Church, where they prayed.
For Ronaldo Cortez, he and other devotees will continue their religious worship at home and will hear Mass online.
The capital region and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal were placed under ECQ until April 4 to tackle soaring coronavirus infections.
As of Thursday, the country's COVID-19 tally reached more than 756,000, of which over 603,000 recovered while 13,300 died from the disease.
To date, some 138,000 people are deemed infections, the country's highest number of active cases since the start of the pandemic. — With a report from Lady Vicencio, ABS-CBN News