Manila declares Jan. 9 a special holiday

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A devotee kisses the image of the Black Nazarene which was transported to the Luneta Grandstand on Monday night. The image will be taken around Manila on Thursday in a procession that is expected to be joined by at least 10 million people.  PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

A devotee kisses the image of the Black Nazarene which was transported to the Luneta Grandstand on Monday night. The image will be taken around Manila on Thursday in a procession that is expected to be joined by at least 10 million people.
PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

THE Manila City Council has declared January 9, the Feast of the Black Nazarene, a special non-working holiday in the city.

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A resolution passed on first reading by the council said the feast would highlight the “religious significance and cultural importance of the Feast of the Black Nazarene” and that there is truly a need to “preserve, enshrine, and promote its observance, commemoration, and celebration in the City of Manila.”

The city had earlier announced the suspension of classes on Thursday to spare students from being stranded because of the expected deluge of devotees.

“It is essentially sound for Manila to propose a local holiday on the Feast of Black Nazarene,” according to Councilor DJ Bagatsing who authored the ordinance.

“This would give loyal worshippers a better chance of engaging in this sacred tradition,” he said.

The Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) meantime said barefoot devotees will again be allowed in trains.

LRTA spokesman Hernando Cabrera said in a radio interview that LRT rides will not be free and security inspections will continue. He said the number of LRT commuters doubles during the Feast of the Black Nazarene.

Last year, on January 9, the LRTA had a record number of 612,371 passengers.

Since the procession will not pass through the usual route, McArthur Bridge, which the Department of Public Works and Highways said is only fit to handle 20 tons or 10,000 people at any given time, the procession is expected to last 10 to 12 hours.

Traffic rerouting is being worked out by the Metro Manila Development Authority, the City of Manila and Manila Police District.

As of Tuesday morning, traffic policemen and personnel from the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau were seen manning the Quiapo boulevard, which was filled with hawkers peddling statues, T-shirts, scapulars and other religious images including amulets believed to protect people from harm and illnesses.

Msgr. Clemente Ignacio, parish priest of Quiapo church, home of the Black Nazarene, said that the Traslacion will stop for a while at the San Sebastian Church to pay respect to the Virgin Mary.

Fr. Ignacio asked the devotees to give more importance to the spiritual aspect of the Traslacion. He clarified that the feast of the Black Nazarene is not confined to the procession but to masses, novenas and other religious practices.

The traditional “pahalik” of the Black Nazarene had already started after the venerated image was transferred to Quirino Grandstand Monday evening.

In another development, retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz criticized Manila city officials for their plan to make the annual feast of the Black Nazarene an international pilgrimage in a bid to attract more tourists.

Cruz lamented that the city is promoting the feast of the Nazarene as a business opportunity, a big insult to the millions of devotees.

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24 Comments

  1. We just called Manila City Hall. ONLY GOVERNMENT OFFICES WITHIN MANILA ARE SUSPENDED.

    It will be on the discretion of the PRIVATE offices whether to suspend or not.

  2. city gov’t offices and schools lang daw ang walang pasok. sa private companies, depende na ata. sana dineclare na lang nila na walang pasok sa lahat.

  3. Just want to share

    Memo sent to us by City of Manila

    The Suspension of work in National government offices and in all private offices in Manila is left to the discretion of their heads of office or management

    Executive Order 42 Series of 2014

  4. declared holiday for public offices as per office of the mayor. private sectors depende sa management :(

  5. andrian dela cruz on

    what’s true? is this the latest? sabi kasi sa ibang news, classes lang ang walang pasok. please we need clarification. thank you.

  6. Ryan Jovellanos on

    On the first part of the article, it has been declared, then the second part stated that it only passed the FIRST READING. So is it official or not? as far as i know, when a proposed bill passed the 1st reading it means it is not official yet, due to the bill must undergo several processes to become official. But the 1st part said IT HAS BEEN DECLARED.. o_O confused..

  7. Ryan Jovellanos on

    is this declared by the government? because our HR department is looking for the official declaration of this event.

  8. Sana ipagbawal na rin ang pag tatapon at pag kakalat ng basura. Disiplina rin sana sa sarili. Devotees or non devotees should respect the premises esp the grounds of Quiapo Church. Paano kung sabhin ng Poong Nazareno na ang bawat magkalat ay hindi pakikinggan ang panalangin.. Baka biglang luminis ang Lungsod ng Maynila!

  9. Do workers private or government are also included in non working day? Other news are confusing. Pls let us know. Thanks

  10. please send us a copy of the resolution stating the said proclamation of holiday. We need in our HR department.
    Thanks for your assistance.