Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso announced today the cancellation of the grand procession of the Black Nazarene or “traslacion” next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cancellation of the annual procession, according to Fr. Douglas Badong, parochial vicar of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, does not mean the church is canceling the celebration of the feast.

“Tuloy po ang pagdiriwang ng Pista ng Poong Nazareno, hindi lang katulad ng dati. Bale hahabaan natin ang novenario, lahat ng misa dito sa Quiapo ay magiging misa novena para sa Kapistahang Nazareno. Oras oras po ‘yun mula madaling araw hanggang gabi ‘yun po ang mas pag iigtingin natin,” said Badong.

Due to the threat of COVID-19, devotees are also urged not to walk barefoot inside the church, another tradition for Black Nazarene devotees.

It will be the first time in 20 years that the traslacion, which draws millions of devotees every year, has been canceled.

“There is no harm in having none for a year or two. Because there still a hundred years, 50 years, 20 years, ten years, five years… to continue to practice ‘yung pamana, ‘yung kustumbre at ‘yung pamamanata,” Domagoso explained.

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