#WalangPasok in Manila on January 9 for Black Nazarene

The Joint Task Force National Capital Region, the military contingent assigned to support the police in securing this year's

In a separate advisory released Wednesday evening, the Supreme Court (SC) announced that Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has also suspended work in the SC, the Court of Appeals (CA), and the Trial Courts of the First and Second Level in Manila for the Feast of the Black Nazarene.

Up to 20 million people are expected to attend this year's Feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila's Quiapo district on January 9.

A devotee reaches out to touch a replica of the Black Nazarene.

Officials of the Manila Police District (MPD) yesterday inspected the route of the traslacion or the procession of the Black Nazarene.

"The procession will not pass through Lagusnilad overpass to ensure the safety of the devotees", Coronel said.

In a frenzied display of religious fervor, men, women and children climbed over heads and shoulders and flung themselves at the centuries-old Black Nazarene that they say performs miracles.

Millions of Catholic devotees are expected to join the procession.

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Security, provided by about 10,000 policemen and soldiers, was tight throughout the procession route, including the decision to ban mobile phone services in the Quiapo area for the procession.

Coronel was joined by Monsignor Hernando Coronel, rector of the Quiapo Church, and officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Fr. Douglas Badong, parochial vicar of the Quiapo Church said they are "100 percent ready".

In Manila, the air continues to be thick with excitement as Black Nazarene devotees from all parts of the country converge for the traslacion or the commemoration of the transfer of the Black Nazarene's image from its original home in Intramuros to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene Church, Quiapo. It will cover a 500-metre radius from the procession route, the Quirino Grandstand and Quiapo Church.

"We hope that the procession would be shorter this year".

Last year, it took 22 hours for the andas (carriage) carrying the icon to complete the route.

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