Msgr. Hernando Coronel leads a media briefing on what to expect at this year's "traslacion" procession and related activities.
This year, around 18.9 million devotees are anticipated to join the religious event, according to the Manila Police District.
Fr. Douglas Badong, parochial vicar of the Quiapo Church said they are "100 percent ready". "I hope my family will have good health and a prosperous life, that we will have no illness and I will heal", he said.
Filipino devotees, estimated by the police at 1.5 million, joined the annual religious procession in yet another massive show of faith and fervor in honour of the image of Jesus Christ, more popularly called the Black Nazarene.
Rev. Fr. Alexander Pardo, PRO-1chaplain, said the first procession of the Black Nazarene in San Fernando City, La Union was made possibler with the support and initiative of Chief Superintendent Romulo Sapitula, the newly-installed regional director of PRO1. The temporary suspension will run from 6 p.m. of January 8 to 6 a.m. of January 10. It will cover a 500-metre radius from the procession route, the Quirino Grandstand and Quiapo Church.
Authorities imposed a gun ban and cellphone signals were jammed sporadically along the vicinity of the procession.
The statue was passing through streets of old Manila lined with bystanders yesterday afternoon en route to its home in the Quiapo church in a lengthy parade that usually takes 20 hours or more.
Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, newly appointed commander of the military's Joint Task Force in the National Capital Region, said the military has always considered the possibility of a terrorist attack on the yearly feast.
A devotee reaches out to touch a replica of the Black Nazarene.