Image of the Black Nazarene on its way to Quiapo Church

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

January 9, 2019, 8:46 am

MANILA -- At exactly 5 a.m. on Wednesday (Jan. 9), the Traslacion or transfer of the miraculous image of the Black Nazarene began its long procession from the Quirino Grandstand to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo.

From Quirino Grandstand, the procession will turn left to Katigbak Drive thru Padre Burgos St., left to Taft Avenue through Jones Bridge, right to Dasmarinas St, right to Plaza Sta Cruz St, left Carlos Palanca St thru under Quezon Bridge, left Quezon Blvd, right Arlegui St., right Fraternal St, right Vergara St, left Duque de Alba St, left Castillejos St, left Farnecio St, right Arlegui St, left to Nepomuceno St, left Concepcion Aguila St, right to Carcer St., right to Hidalgo St. through Plaza del Carmen, left to Bilibid Viejo through Gil Puyat, left JP De Guzman St., right to Hidalgo St., left to Barbosa St., right Arlegui St, left Quezon Blvd, right to Palanca St. thru under Quezon Bridge, right to Villalobos St. through Plaza Miranda all the way to Quiapo Church.

National Capital Region Police Office chief, Director Guillermo Eleazar estimated the crowd at the Quirino Grandstand alone at around 800,000.

As of 8 a.m., the image of the Black Nazarene was in front of the Bonifacio Shrine with number of devotees slowly rising at 190,000.

A total of 14 prayer stations were established within the procession route with devotees' number usually ballooning to millions before reaching Quiapo Church.

The prayer stations will be located in front of the Manila Hotel; National Museum; Victoria corner Padre Burgos near the Manila City Hall; Liwasang Bonifacio; Escolta Arc; Sta Cruz Church; Carlos Palanca corner Ducos Street; Arlegui corner Quezon Boulevard; Duque de Alba Street; Arlegui corner P. Casal Sts.; Manuel L. Quezon University; San Sebastian Church; Puyat corner Guzman Street; and Carlos Palanca/Oscariz.

Organizers of the annual Church celebration projected the procession to last for some 20 hours.

It is believed that the right shoulder side of the rope is the most sacred side since this is the part where Jesus carried the cross.

Towels or handkerchiefs are hurled at "Hijos del Nazareno" members escorting the Black Nazarene, with requests to wipe these on the statue in hopes that miraculous powers attributed to it would "rub off" on the cloth articles.

The Black Nazarene is borne in procession on its Ándas, accompanied by devotees clad in maroon who walk barefoot as both penance and in imitation of Jesus on his way to Mount Calvary. (PNA)