Over 400 Black Nazarene devotees seek medical assistance


Officials have ordered a gun ban in the city of Manila from January 8 to 10 for the Feast of the Black Nazarene.

Hundreds of devotees join the first Black Nazarene procession in San Fernando, La Union Tuesday afternoon.

Police spokeswoman, Superintendent Lucille Faycho, said the number of people attending this year's celebration is expected to be more than last year's estimated 18 million.

In a frenzied display of religious fervour, men, women and children climbed over heads and shoulders and flung themselves at the centuries-old Black Nazarene that they say performs miracles.

MPD Director Joel Coronel and Monsignor Hernando "Ding" Coronel, rector of Quiapo Church, led the inspection from Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park to P. Burgos Street.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines will deploy 500 of its soldiers to assist in the security of the Feast of Black Nazarene on January 9.

The official also said that Estrada suspended work at the city hall except the department directly involved in the event.

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In 2006, a male devotee died after a wooden plank covering a manhole collapsed.

The statue will pass through the streets of old Manila as it is taken to its home in the Quiapo church, a journey that usually takes 20 hours or more and which police said would draw millions of participants.

"Filipinos who come to Quiapo... get a sense of being near the Lord, of the Lord touching them and of the Lord accompanying them... through hard challenges", Quiapo church parochial vicar Father Marvin Cruz told AFP.

"We are 100 percent ready for the feast", said Father Douglas Badong, vicar of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo district.

There would be slight changes in the procession route to speed up the traslacion.

"We hope that the procession would be shorter this year". After setting off at dawn, it arrived at the city's Quiapo Church in the early evening, after stopping at 12 prayer stations en route.