FORUM

Jan 9 2021

Philippines: Thousands gather in Manila for Black Nazarene procession despite pandemic

Over 20,000 Catholics gathered to pay tribute to the Black Nazarene statue of Jesus Christ in Manila on Saturday despite COVID-19 concerns.

The religious event called ‘Traslacion’ dates back to over 200 years and attracts millions of pilgrims every year. Devotees believe that touching or simply being in Black Nazarene’s image presence can bring good fortune and heal the sick.

‘Traslacion 2021’ was scaled down due to the pandemic, with several health measures put in place. The usual procession was replaced by 15 masses celebrated at the Minor Basilica of Back Nazarene. “It’s nothing compared to the last one because we had patients one after another then,” emergency responder Criselle Pedro said, noting that there were fewer first aid incidents at this year’s event.

According to the latest data compiled on Saturday by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, the Philippines have seen a total of 485,979 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 9,398 related deaths.

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