More than half a million devotees participated in the Feast of the Black Nazarene yesterday, the Quiapo command center of the Philippine National Police said.
As of 5 p.m. yesterday, the police said there were over 400,000 devotees in Quiapo Church, while more than 122,000 remain gathered in Quirino Grandstand where the miraculous wooden image of Jesus Christ bearing the cross was stationed.
The Traslacion—the traditional procession of the image—has been canceled for the third straight year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, a Walk of Faith was held from Saturday to early Sunday, drawing over 100,000 faithful. Devotees were also allowed to hear mass and participate in other worship activities in Quiapo and at the Quirino Grandstand.
Over 600 consultations were reported, managed, and addressed by the Metro Manila Center for Health Development from the preparations last January 6 to yesterday’s celebration of the Black Nazarene Feast, data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed.
The DOH said most of the consultations were cardio-related including hypertension, hypotension, chest pains, and blood pressure monitoring – accounting for 577 consultations.
“Of these, four were hospitalized, 3 of which are now discharged and 1 is still under observation,” the DOH said in its report.
Meanwhile, Sen. Lito Lapid renewed his call on his colleagues to support his proposed measure to declare Quiapo a “National Heritage Zone” given its old infrastructures and rich culture and being home to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene.
Lapid pushed for the establishment of the capital’s third heritage zone to cover the areas surrounding Quiapo Church, Plaza Miranda, San Sebastian Church, and Plaza del Carmen.
He said the measure will not only help restore and preserve these areas but will also create a wide range of attractions from recreational facilities, and retail options to adventure opportunities—all while protecting Quiapo’s heritage and cultural integrity.
According to Lapid’s bill, built heritage sites in the historical and cultural heritage zone shall include the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or the Quiapo Church, the Minor Basilica of San Sebastian, Masjid Al-Dahab (the Manila Golden Mosque and Cultural Center), Plaza del Carmen, Plaza Miranda, Quinta Market, Calle Hidalgo, Padilla Art Gallery, Globo de Oro Street, and many historic homes, among others.