By Leslie Ann Aquino
There will be a simultaneous “Traslacion” (procession) of the Black Nazarene on January 9.
Father Douglas Badong, parochial vicar of Quiapo Church, revealed that aside from Manila, at least seven areas will hold their own “traslacion” on the same day.
He identified these areas as Tagum in Davao, Catarman in Samar, Nueva Vizcaya, Palawan, Bicol and Cagayan de Oro.
For the first time, Douglas said Batanes will also hold the traslacion as well as the United Arab Emirates.
Here in Manila, the traslacion will start at the Quirino Grandstand around 5 am after the morning prayer.
Monsignor Hernando Coronel, rector of Quiapo Church, explained that the purpose of the simultaneous trasclacion is the way of different communties to show their love for the Nazareno.
“This is to show our love for the Nazareno, who is one with us,” he said in a press briefing in Manila, Thursday.
According to Coronel, the image of the Black Nazarene is not unique to Quiapo as there are other countries where the image is also being venerated and revered.
“There is this place which we will be visiting in Panama together with some Filipino youth friends…in Portobelo they call it the Black Christ. Their latest fiesta we even covered it via social media. So, this is really becoming worldwide,” he said.
And with the number of devotees growing yearly, church officials expect the number of those who will participate in the whole celebration of the Feast of Black Nazarene to be more than 21 million this year.
“More than 21M we are confident with that,” said Fr. Danichi Hui, parochial vicar of Quiapo, said.
Last year, a total of 21 million participated in the feast beginning December 31, 2017 until January 9, 2018.
As for the actual procession last year, authorities said there were some 2.5 million that joined.
Done every January 9, the traslacion or procession commemorates the transfer of the miraculous image from Bagumbayan (Luneta) to Quiapo Church.
The Black Nazarene is a life-sized, dark-colored, wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ that was brought to Manila by Augustinian priests in 1607. Tradition holds that it got its color after it was burned in a fire that hit the Spanish galleon carrying it.