Traslacion 2018: A procession of more than a million devotees of the Black Nazarene

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Story updated to include latest figures from the Metro Manila police.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 9) — More than a million devotees joined the annual Black Nazarene procession in Manila. 

The police estimated 1,150,000 attendees along the procession route as of 10:50 p.m.

Meanwhile, around 930,000 devotees attended mass at the Quiapo Church, the home of the Black Nazarene.

Organizers transferred the icon to the grandstand after the day-long "Pahalik" — the Filipino Catholic's practice of kissing the image's feet on the eve of Traslacion.


The procession left the Quirino Grandstand at 5 a.m., marking the beginning of the day-long procession on Manila's streets, following tradition that has been going on for 221 years.

The Andas, or the carriage bearing the Black Nazarene, will ply a different route this year. Instead of passing through the east-bound lane of P. Burgos and Lagusnilad, the procession will use the westbound lane to Jones Bridge. It will skip the traditional routes of McArthur and Quezon bridges.

Traslacion-2018-route.png The route for this year's Traslacion.  

Quiapo Church Rector Monsignor Hernando Coronel also said organizers will introduce 12 prayer stations along the procession route. The stations will have quick response units in case of emergency.

Here are the locations of each prayer station:

  • Manila Hotel
  • National Museum
  • Pedestrian underpass in P. Burgos cor. Victoria (in front of Manila City Hall)
  • Pedestrian underpass in Liwasang Bonifacio
  • Escolta Arc
  • Sta. Cruz Church
  • Arlegui cor. Quezon Boulevard
  • Pedestrian overpass in Arlegui cor. P. Casal
  • Canopy of Manuel L. Quezon University
  • San Sebastian Church
  • Barangay hall in Guzman St.
  • Globo de Oro

The Andas will also stop for a few minutes at the San Sebastian Church for the Dungaw, where the image of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel will be taken outside to overlook the Black Nazarene, in commemoration of the Virgin Mary's encounter with Christ on His way to Calvary.

In 2017, the procession had 1.3 million reported attendees. It went on for more than 22 hours before the image returned to its home church

Some devotees injured

The latest police report stated over 374 were injured in the procession.

The Philippine Red Cross reported handling 1056 patients as of 11 p.m. Tuesday. The group said 432 had their blood pressure monitored, 386 with minor injuries, 53 major injuries, and six transported by ambulance.

"Ang pinaka-serious 'yung kanina, nangyari, nahulog sa Andas at dinala namin sa Makati Medical Center pagkatapos siyang dalhin sa main emergency medical tent namin," Red Cross chair Sen. Richard Gordon told CNN Philippines on Tuesday.

[Translation: The most serious incident was the person who fell off the Andas and who we brought to the Makati Medical Center after he was checked at our main emergency medical tent.]

Gordon also said they had fewer patients this year, although more people joined the Traslacion in previous years.

The Health Department also monitored 301 persons treated — with 127 injured from wounds and punctures, 68 suffering from hypertension, and 16 from dizziness.

They earlier advised the devotees to drink enough water to avoid dehydration, to wear comfortable clothes and protective footwear, and to bring raincoats, hats, fans, and handkerchiefs.

People on medication are advised to bring their medicines. Those who are sick, or pregnant, or with severe medical conditions are discouraged from attending the procession.

The department also advised against bringing infant and young children. Should they do so, they are encouraged to bring proper identification cards (IDs) in case of emergencies.

Traffic rerouting

Motorists are advised to take alternate routes.

traslacion-rerouting.png Traslacion routing plans for January 9.

Supt. Erwin Margarejo, Metro Manila police spokesperson, said tighter security measures are being implemented, with 6,500 policemen deployed in Manila.

MMDA Spokesperson Celine Pialago earlier said 1,300 traffic enforcers have been deployed since January 5, Friday.

Cellphone signal is jammed along the entire procession route.  Globe and Smart announced that it is suspending mobile services in Quiapo on Tuesday for the Traslacion.

Drones are also banned, according to the police.

This is a developing story. Please refresh the page for updates.