The traditional Traslacion will be suspended again in January 2023 — the third consecutive year the annual event marking the Feast of the Black Nazarene is canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Interviewed on Dobol B TV, Quiapo Church Attached Priest Fr. Earl Allyson Valdez said all other activities related to the Feast will proceed. These include touching the image of the Black Nazarene in place of the “Pahalik,” which will be held at the Quirino Grandstand.
“Bagamat walang tradisyunal na prusisyon, ay ang lahat ng ating nakagawiang aktibidades na may kinalaman sa Kapistahan ng Itim na Nazareno ay matutuloy po,” Valdez said.
(Although there will be no traditional procession, all our usual activities related to the Feast of the Black Nazarene will continue.)
Hourly masses at the Quiapo Church will also push through starting 12 a.m. on January 9, which will be led by Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula.
There will also be masses in other churches in Metro Manila and other Luzon provinces for those who would not be able to go to Quiapo Church for the celebration.
“Ang aming layunin ay kung hindi makapupunta para sa Traslacion, ay ang Nazareno na mismo ang tutungo sa kani-kanilang lugar at simbahan,” Valdez said.
(Our goal is that if people are unable to go to Quiapo Church for the Traslacion, the Black Nazarene itself will go to their respective places and churches.)
He explained that the Quiapo Church decided to suspend Traslacion anew to avoid the influx of people from various parts of the country in Quiapo as COVID-19 is still prevalent.
He said they are also considering the health and safety of the elderly and people with comorbidities who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 who may go to the event.
The Traslacion is the procession that carries the image of the Black Nazarene from Quirino Grandstand back to Quiapo Church and takes place annually on January 9.
As for the health protocols in the Quiapo Church, Valdez said churchgoers are still advised to wear their face masks inside, and there will also be separate entry and exit points to maintain physical distance. —KBK, GMA Integrated News