MANILA - Many Filipinos on Saturday flocked to the Manila Cathedral to celebrate Christmas under eased COVID-19 restrictions, as the pandemic lingered for another year.
For the 4 p.m. Mass at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, attendees started falling in line an hour early to enter.
Under COVID-19 Alert Level 2, which is being imposed in most parts of the country including Metro Manila until the end of the month, the Church decided to implement a 30 percent seating capacity.
The church's security requires mass goers who want to be seated inside to show a vaccination card as proof of full inoculation against COVID-19.
There are only three persons per pew. The Church also provided physically distanced chairs at the side to accommodate more Christmas Mass attendees.
When the rain started to pour down, the Church decided to let some of those outside to enter, with Church security and personnel implementing the minimum health protocols.
Parishioners noticeably came as families, including young children and older adults, a rare sight last year.
Some of the attendees' Christmas prayers remain to be about having good health amid the lingering pandemic and quick recovery for those devastated by the wrath of Typhoon Odette last week.
The Cathedral offered the Mass for the relief and recovery of provinces affected by the storm.
The homily also centered on love and compassion during dark and trying times.
A 6 p.m. Mass was also set.
-- Nico Bagsic, ABS-CBN News