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3:34 pm on 8 January 2023, Sunday
By Jade Veronique V. Yap
More than 88,000 faithful on Sunday dawn, January 8, graced the Walk of Faith in Quiapo, Manila, as a part of the celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene, the Quiapo Church Command Post reported.
Following a midnight liturgy presided over by Fr. Rufino Sescon in the Quirino Grandstand, the walk began toward the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, popularly known as the Quiapo Church.
The walk lasted for more than two hours, beginning around 1:30 a.m. and concluding at about 4 a.m.
The traditional "Traslacion" was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was replaced by the Walk of Faith.
However, this time, the image of the Black Nazarene was not present.
The image of the Black Nazarene stayed in the grandstand, while worshippers held statues of the Nazareno, photos, and candles while praying or singing religious songs.
The Traslacion was last held in January 2020 and was attended by some 3.3 million devotees. It lasted for 16 hours and 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, almost 48,000 devotees flocked to Quirino Grandstand in Manila for the "pagpupugay," or viewing and touching of the image, which has replaced the traditional "pahalik" (kissing), to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The "pagpupugay" will run until the feast day on Jan. 9.
The Feast of the Black Nazarene is a 10-day celebration that starts on December 31 and ends on January 9.
Manila Police District Director Brig. Gen. Andre Dizon said no untoward incident was reported during the Walk of Faith.
According to Manila Police District Director Brig. Gen. Andre Dizon, no untoward incident occurred during the Walk of Faith.
Dizon has previously stated that 5 million devotees are expected to participate in the various festivities and rites for the Black Nazarene.