Nazarene devotees urged to be disciplined while commuting

January 9, 2020 - 6:31 PM
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LRT 1 passengers
This undated image shows the Light Rail Transit-1. (The STAR/Miguel de Guzman)
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As Catholics celebrate the Feast of the Black Nazarene or the annual Traslacion, some commuters called out the alleged unruly behavior of devotees using the Light Rail Transit-Line 1 to travel.

A Reddit user named ‘leinnad1991’ claimed of being “cut” in the line twice in the LRT-1 Carriedo Station on the morning of January 9, Thursday.

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“I was already waiting for almost an hour, there’s nothing wrong with religious tradition pero at least konting application naman sa pagiging mabuting tao,” the user wrote.

Another Reddit user shared a similar experience of commuting with devotees this morning.

“I came (from) LRT Tayuman at 7:35, nakasakay ako sa train ng 8:16, pagdating ng D. Jose (Doroteo Jose) at Carriedo Station, may batch ng mga namamanata, biglang pasok sila na feeling nila maluwag ‘yung train, lahat ng nasa loob nasaktan sa kilos nila,” user ‘Bella0422‘ wrote.

“Naipitan ako ng braso. ‘Yung kwentuhan nila, akala mo sila lang ‘yung nakasakay sa train, nagmumurahan sa isa’t isa, naglolokohan. Nahuhusgahan lang ‘yung pagkatao nila dahil sa actions nila,” the user added.

A commuter also requested for LRT-1 authorities to “manage passenger volume in the platforms.”

“It’s chocked-full to capacity here already at Roosevelt,” Twitter user @CelAlcoriza said on 5:52 a.m.

LRT-1 is the only transit system that traverses near Quiapo Church and other points of interest in Manila where the annual Traslacion passes through. The train’s predominant route is along Rizal Avenue, Rizal Avenue Extension and Taft Avenue.

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The nearest station near Quiapo Church is Carriedo Station while Doroteo Jose or D. Jose Station connects LRT-2 passengers from the east to Manila.

LRT-1 has previously advised commuters to “expect heavier volume of passengers” from the stations of United Nations, Central, Carriedo and Doroteo Jose during Traslacion.

It also reminded passengers that it will strictly implement the “crowd control” scheme where the amount of passengers on each station platform will be limited, excluding priority travelers such as senior citizens, persons with disabilities and pregnant women.

The scheme is typically implemented during rush hours in the morning and evening to “regulate the load capacity of the station platforms, prevent overloading of trains and congestion at the paid area,” according to the Official Gazette.

Skip trains are supposedly dispatched to stations with high volumes of passengers to enable a swift entry and movement of commuters in the stations.

However, it does not guarantee that passengers will be able to alight and leave the trains in an orderly fashion.

Big event for Catholic devotees

Traslacion is the annual procession of the image of the Black Nazarene from the Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church where devotees would typically touch the statue or wipe their towels to it as it traverses different parts of Manila.

The statue is believed to have miraculous attributes. Followers claim that it can heal sicknesses, grant petitions and help those in need.

Traslacion 2020
Devotees of the image of the Black Nazarene flock to participate in the annual Traslacion on Jan. 9, 2019. (Philstar.com/Erwin Cagadas and Gabrielle Fajardo)

According to a Philstar.com report, the procession “commemorates the time when the image was transferred from Intramuros to Quiapo in 1767 upon the order of Basilio Sancho de Santas Justa y Rufina, the archbishop of Manila at the time.”

The Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said that more than two million devotees have joined this year’s Traslacion as of 8:52 a.m.

It is considered a major religious event in the country that is called the “home of Asia’s largest Catholic population” where more than 86% of Filipinos are Roman Catholic.