Manila Police District has reported that up to 220,000 devotees of the Black Nazarene participated the annual procession or Traslacion as of Thursday morning.
Around 11 a.m., the number of devotees joining the crowd near the image was estimated from 100,000 to 220,000.
Meanwhile, 20,000 to 30,000 devotees were at the tail-end of the procession, the MPD said.
MPD chief Brigadier General Bernabe Balba told GMA News Online that the situation of the procession is “okay” so far. However, he said some of the devotees still tried to climb to the image despite even if it was no longer allowed.
“Marami pa ring gustong umakyat doon sa harapan,” Balba said.
To control the direction of the Traslacion, Balba said security forces were taking control of the front part of the procession ahead of sea of devotees, who he said were eager to touch the Black Nazarene.
Despite of the disobedience of some devotees, Balba said the police still enforced maximum tolerance.
As of 11 a.m., the procession was slowly moving along Vergara and Duque de Alba streets, MPD said.
According to the original route presented prior to event, the procession will pass 13 more streets to get the Black Nazarene back at the Quiapo Church, its area of origin. —KBK, GMA News