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Nazareno 2023 'generally peaceful'; 2M attended —officials

The conduct of the activities in connection with the Feast of the Black Nazarene had been generally peaceful despite the large crowd involved, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Tuesday.

"Nairaos natin nang mabuti po at ligtas at generally peaceful po 'yung naging Pista ng Itim na Nazareno [The Feast of the Black Nazarene was generally peaceful]," PNP spokesperson Police Colonel Jean Fajardo said in interview on Unang Balita.

Around 300 devotees sought medical assistance after suffering from dizziness and minor injuries during the day of the feast, Fajardo added.

Quiapo Church officials, meanwhile, said an estimated 2 million devotees joined the activities during the Nazareno 2023, which is twice the number of the previous year's attendees.

"We have indeed gotten to our target crowd of 2 million (far from the five million total projected during the pre-pandemic Traslacion, but double the number during the pandemic Traslacion 2021)," Quiapo Church spokesperson Fr. Earl Valdez told reporters in a message.

The organizers this year modified the traditional Traslacion — the procession of the Black Nazarene image from Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church — to a “Walk of Faith” procession without the figure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Traditional activities during the feast were conducted except for "Pahalik" (kissing of Black Nazarene image) and "Pasanan" (carrying of the image).

According to Quiapo Church, 709,945 devotees went to the church for the hourly masses on Monday, the Feast of the Black Nazarene Feast Day, which closed the celebration of the occasion.

The activities for Black Nazarene Feast started as early as December 2022. —KBK, GMA Integrated News