LOOK: Procession route for Nazareno 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Organizers of this year's Feast of the Black Nazarene announced a slight change in the Nazareno procession route for Tuesday, January 9.

The change will involve a "counterflow" at Padre Burgos Avenue, Manila, so that the procession, called the Traslacion, can avoid Lagusnilad Bridge.

Father Marvin Cruz, parochial vicar of Quiapo Church, explained that this is for the safety of devotees, as Lagusnilad Bridge might not be able to support their huge numbers. 

Watch the explanation in the video below:

Up to 8 million devotees join the annual procession of the Black Nazarene, a 17th-century mulatto image of Jesus Christ, which Filipinos believe to be miraculous. (READ: Nazareno: Does it make the Pinoy a better neighbor?)

Cloaked in a maroon robe, crowned with thorns and bearing a cross, the Nazarene statue was brought to Manila by Augustinian priests in 1607, decades after the start of Spain's colonial rule.

It was believed to have acquired its color after being partially burnt when the galleon carrying it caught fire on a voyage from Mexico, another Spanish colony at the time. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.