PIA Press Release
Monday, January 09, 2012
Millions flock procession of the Black Nazareneby Alfred Kristoffer Guiang and Jayson Leguiab
MANILA, January 9 (PIA) -- The Feast of the Black Nazarene, with the grand annual procession of the float as the event’s highlight, witnessed the piety of the nearly eight million devotees despite the security threats reported by the intelligence unit of the government.
However, a number of injuries have been recorded by agencies such as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Fire Emergency Response and Emergency Group (FEPAG), and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).
As of 4PM today, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Center, more than 300 minor injuries have been treated by the PRC, the MMDA, and the FEPAG. Injuries recorded vary from laceration to abdominal pain, sprain, headache, dizziness, difficulty in breathing, hypertension and back pain.
Also, a total of 15 persons were brought to different hospitals for medical assistance.
With nearly eight million estimated devotees this year-- a figure much higher than last year’s two million-- the procession has been experiencing minor problems due to breakage of the karosa’s rope, the unsteady movement of the carriage, etc. causing a slower pace of the procession.
The grand annual procession of the Black Nazarene highlights the 405th celebration of the Feast of the Traslacion--commemorating the transfer of the sacred image from the Recollect Church in Intramuros, Manila to the Quiapo Church in 1787.
As of 8:00 pm today, the carriage is already treading the McArthur Bridge, moving slightly faster after the repair of the carriage’s wheels. The procession is also expected to last for at least 12 hours.
On the other hand, telecommunication companies have temporarily jammed their mobile signals along the procession route in response to the appeal of President Benigno S. Aquino III to the telecommunication companies and the public to cooperate with the government to ensure peace and order during the feast of the Black Nazarene. (RJB/AKG/JPL-PIA-NCR/NDRRMC)