Feast of Black Nazarene ends after 22-hour procession
The procession of the image of the Black Nazarene ended after 22 hours, tying the longest on record, as it arrived at 3:42 am Tuesday.
“The community in the smaller streets in Quiapo didn’t wish to let go of the image,” said Monsignor Hernando Coronel, Quiapo Church rector.
Chief Inspector Kimberly Molitas, spokesperson of the National Capitol Region Police Office, said around 2.5 million devotees attended, with the peak around 1 to 2 pm Monday.
“It was very organized and peaceful… the devotees were very cooperative, they followed what the plan was,” she said.
In 2012, the procession lasted for 22 hours after the carriage” experienced two flat tires early on in the route.
Organizers said they expected the procession to end by midnight as it was travelling at a “faster rate” compared to previous years.
Coronel admitted there is a possibility there were fewer devotees because of similar events in three other areas.
“It’s not a question of numbers. We still have a lot of devotees. The Plaza Miranda was overflowing with people. And we also have simultaneous celebrations nationwide,” said Coronel.
The procession of the black image of Christ was held in Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental; Tagum City in Davao del Norte; and Catarman in Northern Samar.
Organizers said as of 3 p.m. Monday, the crowd reached 1.4 million while another 41,000 devotees were estimated within vicinity of the church.
Coronel said they were thankful the procession was smooth despite a reported terrorist threat.
"I am happy that our Traslacion was casualty-free. The police and military assisted in our Traslacion, where the threat of possible terrorism was high,” said Coronel.
Coronel said they will pray for immediate recovery of the injured devotees.
A report from the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) showed there were a total of 2,235 given medical assistance, specifically 479 minor injuries and eight with major injuries. DMS/Robina Asido