In Manila, the air continues to be thick with excitement as Black Nazarene devotees from all parts of the country converge for the traslacion or the commemoration of the transfer of the Black Nazarene’s image from its original home in Intramuros to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene Church, Quiapo. This solemn transfer was held on January 9, 1787.
On Monday, the eve of the traslacion, more than 16,000 were estimated to have already lined up as early as dawn at the Quirino grandstand for the pahalik, or kissing of the black statue, and for the vigil.
The traslacion is considered as one the biggest gatherings in the world. Officers of the Manila Police District announced last month that the 10-day series of activities that began on December 31 has an estimated participants of 18.9 million.
On January 9, the energy is expected to get crazy as devotees pack the streets while the procession snakes its way through the designated streets of Manila. Yet the atmosphere of fervent faith could also be felt as the wild movement is also thanksgiving for tender miracles granted by the Black Nazarene to pious followers or for praying for requests.
Meanwhile, here are photos of moments leading up to the January 9 procession.