By Ria Fernandez
The ‘pahalik’ or the traditional touching and kissing of the revered image of the Black Nazarene on the eve of ‘traslacion’ started earlier than usual this year.
On Tuesday, gates at the Quirino Grandstand leading to the Black Nazarene image were already opened as early as 6 a.m. instead of 8 a.m.
According to Alex Irasga, member of the Technical Working Group Task Force Nazareno, the Quiapo Church management decided to do so in consideration of devotees who have camped out at the site since yesterday.
“Before 6 a.m., there are already hundreds of thousands covering the stretch of T.M. Kalaw and the perimeters of Quirino Grandstand,” he said.
As of 8:45 a.m., 2.4 million devotees were already able to get close and rub their towels and handkerchiefs on the Black Nazarene.
The ‘pahalik’ will continue even during the duration of ‘traslacion’ tomorrow.
The Catholic faithful may also venerate the Black Nazarene at the prayer stations.
“The replicas also have the same blessing,” Irasga said.