The image of the Black Nazarene has safely returned to Quiapo church before 9:00 PM on Thursday, January 9.
The annual Traslacion, which started at the Quirino Grandstand before sunrise, ended after more than 16 hours, the fastest compared to recent years.
According to police authorities, the estimated number of Filipino faithful who participated in the annual procession marked up to 3.3 million, while those who waited and gathered at Plaza Miranda and Quiapo Church were more than 530,000.
Upon arriving in Plaza Miranda, the thick wall of blue-uniformed police officers were seen serving as a barricade in the entrance of Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila as the figure entered the church, lead and carried by the Hijos — the volunteers who express their devotion and toughly braved the sea of devotees who are hoping to touch the said image.
In a statement, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno called the event “record-breaking” as the annual procession ended shorter than the previous years.
“Taos-puso po akong nagpapasalamat sa milyon-milyong deboto, sa Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, sa mga vendor, sa mga kapulisan, at sa lahat ng city at national government agencies na nakiisa para maging matagumpay ang prusisyong ito!” Moreno said.
However, the fast procession didn’t sit well to some — those who weren’t able to touch the Black Nazarene.
The Traslacion- annual return of the image of the Black Nazarene from the Quirino Grandstand to the Quiapo Church- usually takes more than 20 hours.
Last year, the procession ended after more than 21 hours. Meanwhile, in 2018, the procession lasted for more than 22 hours, the longest in Philippine history.
According to the Manila PIO, at least 251 people were injured in the procession of the image of the Black Nazarene as of 6 pm on Thursday.
On the other hand, the Philippine Red Cross says its medical team and volunteers assisted 1,051 individuals, 679 of whom were given blood pressure consultation.