Some 400,000 devotees seen at Quiapo for Traslacion 2021 — Manila police

( – January 9, 2021 – 11:11am

MANILA, Philippines (Update 2 3:53 p.m.) — Throngs of devotees poured into the Quiapo area for Traslacion 2021 despite the pandemic and the cancellation of the traditional Black Nazarene procession, officials of the City of Manila confirmed Saturday. 

Gen. Leo Francisco, Manila Police District chief, told CNN Philippines that, as of 9:30 a.m., five hours after commemoration activities began for the day, an estimated 400,000 visitors had already been seen in Quiapo. 

As of 3:00 p.m., an estimated 9,890 people are still crowding in the area, Manila’s Public Information Office told reporters, citing figures from MPD. Manila police also estimated that some 150 devotees are gathered in the Santa Cruz Church while another 70 are in the Nazarene Catholic School.

Every January 9, devotees of the Black Nazarene hold a grand procession called “traslacion” to commemorate the transfer of the venerated image of the Black Nazarene from Intramuros, Manila to Quiapo in 1767.

But this year, the lingering pandemic forced the cancellation of the massive Black Nazarene procession that usually takes place from the Quirino Grandstand to the Minor Basilica or the Black Nazarene or Quiapo Church. 

Instead of the usual activities, it was announced that Quiapo Church would hold 15 masses, with only 400 visitors allowed for each mass. 

The grand procession usually draws millions of devotees and religious attendees.

Manila PIO, in a post to its Facebook page on Saturday, said commemoration activities for Traslacion 2021 began at 4:30 a.m. 

Earlier this week, Black Nazarene devotees had been urged by groups and social media users to observe traditional Traslacion activities at home. 

On January 3, photos taken by several news outlets showed crowds outside Quiapo Church ignoring pandemic protocols such as social distancing and proper wearing of masks and face shields, prompting swift rebuke from social media users. 

INTERAKSYON: Take responsibility: Black Nazarene devotees urged to observe Traslacion 2021 at home
| Quiapo Church-goers seen ignoring COVID-19 protocols ahead of Traslacion 2021 

— Bella Perez-Rubio with a report from Rosette Adel

As It Happens

LATEST UPDATE: January 7, 2021 – 4:15pm

Other regions and provinces in the Philippines considered moderate and low-risk areas will be placed under general community quarantine starting May 1. Bookmark this page for updates. (Main image by The STAR/Edd Gumban)

January 7, 2021 – 4:15pm

The Department of Health reports 1,353 additional COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, bringing the total to 482,083.

Among the positive cases, 23,675 or 4.9% are considered active.

The total of recovered patients rises to 449,052 with 360 new recoveries while the death toll grows to 9,356 with 9 additional deaths.

January 6, 2021 – 4:15pm

COVID-19 infections in the Philippines rise to 480,737 with 1,047 newly reported cases Wednesday.

The Department of Health also reports 339 new recoveries and 26 additional deaths, pushing the total of recovered patients to 448,700 and the death toll to 9,347.

With these latest figures, active cases in the country stand at 22,690.

January 6, 2021 – 1:38pm

Philippine Airlines says it has turned over to the Bureau of Quarantine all the necessary information to enable contact tracing after a passenger from Manila was detected with the new strain of COVID-19 in Hong Kong.

The flagship carrier says it is cooperating with health authorities to help ensure air travel is safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The passenger (whose identity we cannot disclose) presented a negative covid test before taking the Manila to Hong Kong flight last December 22,” PAL says in a statement Wednesday.

January 5, 2021 – 4:26pm

The Philippines’ coronavirus tally climbs to 479,693 with 937 newly reported cases Tuesday.

The Department of Health also reports114 more recoveries, pushing the total of recovered cases to 448,375 while the death toll rises to 9,321 with 58 new deaths.

Active cases in the country now stand at 21,997.

January 4, 2021 – 5:33pm

Sulu is placed on a 14-day lockdown starting Monday against possible transmission from the new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) from the nearby state of Sabah, Malaysia.

Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan Sr. says the closure of its border is part of its preventive and preemptive measures to protect its constituents from the contagion, citing the province’s proximity to Sabah where the new COVID-19 variant was reportedly detected.

“Effective January 4 to 17, 2021 no passengers from airplane or boat are allowed to enter or leave the province of Sulu,” Tan says in his advisory. — The STAR/Roel Pareño

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