Every year on the ninth day of January, millions of devotees flock to Quiapo Church and its surrounding areas to take part in the annual Traslacion. A Spanish word for moving something from one place to another, the procession commemorates the transfer of the image from the St. John the Baptist Church Luneta to the Quiapo Church in 1608.
It is also depicts the sacrifice and suffering of Jesus when he was walking barefoot, carrying the cross to Mount Calvary. Devotees take part in this sacrifice, creating a sea of people of all ages and walks of life, defying heat, congestion, and. While the event is religious in nature, the mere volume of people make way for accidents, injuries, and even (cross-fingers) death. This is why authorities constantly urge devotees and spectators to follow guidelines to avoid any untoward incident.
This 2019, the reminder remains as five million people are expected to participate. Here are the things that you should never bring to the procession, according to Manila Police District’s (MPD) guidelines.
Traslacion is not exactly the time for merry-making. If anything, it’s a celebration of faith to the miraculous Black Nazarene. It’s not the time to drink liquor, too, so don’t even think about bringing your favorite drink to this one-of-a-kind party. Instead of beer, drink water. You’ll need lots of it to get through the festivity. As of writing, a liquor ban is already in place.
The New Year is over so there’s absolutely no reason for you to bring firecrackers during the procession. Light up your soul, not the Piccolo you’re holding. A firecracker ban is already effective today and will be lifted after the procession.
Weapons like knives and guns are prohibited in the procession, too. Traslacion, though known for the huge crowd it draws, is not a place for violence. A gun ban is already in place, with police forces from the MPD closely monitoring the feast.
It’s better to ditch your backpack and settle for just a towel and comfy clothes. It won’t stand a chance against the horde of people trying to get as close as possible to the Black Nazarene replica.
Colored canisters and water jugs
Just like bags, carrying water jugs and colored canisters are not allowed during the procession. This is to make sure that alcoholic drinks won’t circulate undetected. If you’re worried about how to stay hydrated, fret not. There’ll be water available along the route, either for sale or for free from volunteers.
Illustrations by Madel Crudo