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Planning to join the Traslación? Read this first

(Photo courtesy: Quiapo Church Facebook page)

The Feast of the Black Nazarene is an important event that happens every year in Manila. Many people join the Traslacion, which is a procession to celebrate this feast. This year, the Traslación will happen on January 9, 2024.

The procession starts at Quirino Grandstand, a big open area near the Manila Bay, and ends at the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Jesus Nazareno (Black Nazarene), popularly known as Quiapo Church in Manila. Many people will gather at the grandstand early in the morning. They come to pray and see the statue of the Black Nazarene.

The Black Nazarene statue shows Jesus Christ carrying a cross. It is very old - over 400 years! The statue is thought to have magical and healing powers. People believe it can heal illnesses and grant miracles. That is why devotees are very excited to see and touch the statue during Traslacion.

When everything is ready, the procession will start. The Black Nazarene statue is placed on a carriage decorated with flowers and lights. This carriage is called the "andas." Many men or "Hijos del Nazareno" will pull ropes to move the “andas” through the streets. These men are very strong in faith!

The “andas" carrying the Nazarene statue will be surrounded by millions of devotees. Estimates from the Quiapo Church said million people are expected to participate in the Black Nazarene feast.

For peace and order, the Philippine National Police-National Capital Region Police Office (PNP-NCRPO) said around 15,000 police personnel will be stationed near and along the route during the entirety of the event, while over 5,600 personnel will be initially deployed.

Everyone will walk about 6 kilometers from Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church. This church in Quiapo district is the home of the Black Nazarene. The trip takes many hours because of the huge crowds. 

Related stories:

Quiapo Church elevated to Archdiocesan Shrine of the Black Nazarene

More than 46k people attend Black Nazarene Festival mass at Quirino Grandstand

MMDRRMC members lauded for safe peaceful Black Nazarene feast

Quiapo Church issues rules for Black Nazarene feast

Along the way, people will pray, sing songs, and celebrate their devotion. When the "andas" passes by, many devotees throw their towels or handkerchiefs towards the statue. They hope these items will touch the Nazarene so they can bring home this blessing.

To join the Traslación, there are some important rules to follow:

DO NOT climb up the “andas” to touch the statue. This is dangerous and blocks the view for others. Instead, wait along the street for your chance to see the Nazarene pass by.

DO NOT push or shove other devotees. This can cause injuries. Be kind and patient with others.

DO NOT bring big bags or many belongings. Only bring what you need for the day in a small, see-through bag. This will make inspections faster.

DO eat a full meal before the walk. You will need energy for the long procession. Avoid getting tired or dehydrated.

DO pray while walking if you wish. But be careful not to block the “andas” path. Keep the procession moving smoothly.

Children, elderly, and sick devotees should NOT walk the entire route. It is very tiring! They should stay on the sidewalks to safely watch the procession. Their health and safety are important.

To keep everything orderly and safe, the PNP has committed to guide the crowds and watch for problems. Listen carefully and follow their directions.

While members of the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Council will be on standby and ready to assist the Manila DRRM Office in line with managing risks. The Office of Civil Defense-NCR, on the other hand, will maintain the Council’s 24/7 virtual emergency operations center exclusively for the event to monitor crowd estimates and provide updates.

And like in the previous events, a gun ban is to be strictly enforced in Manila, while areas of the city where Black Nazarene events will be held are declared as “no-fly zones” for drones and “no-sail zones” for watercraft.

The Black Nazarene feast teaches us about faith, sacrifice and community. Millions of devotees unite to celebrate their beliefs. Even though the procession is difficult, people's spirit and joy make the hardship worthwhile. The Traslacion reminds us how faith can bring people together and overcome any hardship.

So remember the rules if you attend the Traslación this year. Be safe, be patient with others, and enjoy celebrating your devotion. The Black Nazarene feast shows the power of faith to unite us and find meaning. Always respect your fellow devotees during this special annual tradition. (AVS / PIA-NCR)

About the Author

Alice Sicat

Information Officer IV


Assistant Regional Director of PIA-NCR

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