Nazarene replica procession today; brace for traffic jams
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - January 6, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Motorists and commuters should brace for heavy traffic around the Quiapo Church today due to the procession of replicas of the Black Nazarene ahead of the traslacion to mark the feast of the church’s patron saint on Saturday.

The procession of the replicas starts at 2 p.m. from Plaza Miranda fronting the Quiapo Church and will pass through Quezon Boulevard, Recto Avenue and the streets of Loyola, Puyat, Guzman, Hidalgo, Barbosa, Globo de Oro, Palanca and Villabos.

Organizers of the event did not say how many replicas of the Black Jesus Christ would be joining the procession.

The images of the Black Nazarene would be blessed by rector Monsignor Hernando Coronel.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will deploy around 200 personnel for the traslacion on Saturday.

PCG spokesman Commander Armand Balilo said they would help in providing security to the devotees.

The Black Nazarene will be transferred to the Quirino Grandstand tomorrow for the “pahalik.”

PCG personnel would be deployed to the Jones and MacArthur bridges as part of precautionary measures.

‘No security threat’

No security threat has been monitored so far in connection with the Black Nazarene feast, a police official said.

Chief Superintendent Willben Mayor, spokesman for the Philippine National Police, said the National Capital Regional Police Office and Manila Police District continue to monitor the preparations for the traslacion.

“We have not monitored any specific threat. But our intelligence units continue monitoring the situation,” Mayor told a press briefing at Camp Crame.

Mayor said about 5,000 police officers would be deployed to ensure the security of the thousands of devotees who will flock to Quiapo Church for the traditional mass and procession, which usually last several hours.

Mayor refused to disclose if authorities will jam cell phone signals to prevent criminals from detonating explosives using mobile phones.

MMDA all set for traslacion

It’s all systems go for the traslacion of the image of the Black Nazarene on Saturday, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said.

Thousands of devotees accompany the life-size image of Christ as it is brought back to the Quiapo Church from a vigil at the Qurino Grandstand.

MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos said they expect the procession to end on Sunday morning.

He said they would deploy 1,680 MMDA personnel to help manage traffic and clear the route of the traslacion.

According to Crisanto Saruca, director of the MMDA’s Traffic Discipline Office, the agency’s personnel, including members of the Road Rescue Unit and Sidewalk Clearing Operations Group (SCOG) will be deployed starting today.

Saruca said 75 percent of the MMDA team deployed for the traslacion are traffic enforcers.

He said based on this year’s program, the “pahalik” or kissing of the Black Nazarene image at the Quirino Grandstand will start at 8 a.m. tomorrow.

On Saturday, the image of the Black Nazarene will leave the Quirino Grandstand at 7 a.m.

No road closures

Saruca said there would be no road closures for the procession but vehicular traffic would be rerouted.

He advised motorists to avoid the procession route and take alternate roads.

The MMDA will be releasing its traffic rerouting scheme for the event.

All vehicles from the northern part of Manila intending to use the southbound lane of Bonifacio Drive should turn right to Roberto S. Oca street, left to Delgado street, left to Bonifacio Drive, right to Soriano Avenue to Magallanes Drive, right to P. Burgos street, straight to Lagusnilad to Taft Avenue.

Heavy vehicles and cargo trucks coming from southern Metro Manila should take Osmeña Drive, right to Quirino Avenue to Nagtahan street.

All buses coming from southern Metro Manila passing through Taft Avenue will not be allowed to enter from 7 a.m. to noon. Buses are only allowed to up to Quirino. 

Motorists intending to go north or south of Manila should use the stretch of Lacson to Nagtahan or the stretch of Road 10 to Roxas Boulevard to avoid traffic.

 Motorists coming from Quezon City who will pass through España Boulevard should turn right to P. Campa street, left to Andalucia street, right to Fugoso street and left to T. Mapua street to their destination.

Vehicles intending to proceed to the South Pier zone should turn left to Nicanor Reyes street, right to Recto, left to Reina Regente street and straight to Jones Bridge.

Vehicles coming from Divisoria intending to utilize the stretch of Recto should turn left to T. Alonzo street, right to Fugoso street and left to Andalucia street to their destination.

Meanwhile, those coming from Legarda should turn right to Recto or left to Mendiola to their destination.

MMDA personnel who will help secure and clean up the procession route will no longer be required to wear adult diapers. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Mike Frialde, Rey Galupo

ACIRC BLACK BLACK NAZARENE LEFT METRO MANILA MMDA PROCESSION QUIAPO CHURCH QUIRINO GRANDSTAND RIGHT STREET
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