CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 04 January) – There will be no flying of drones and children and pregnant women are being asked to refrain from participating during the annual procession of the Black Nazarene next week.
Fr. Persius Cabunoc, parish priest of the Nazareno Parish, said these are some of the security details agreed by organizers for the Black Nazarene traslacion, Mindanao’s biggest religious event on January 8 and 9.
“We are asking pregnant women and children not to participate in the traslacion,” Cabunoc said.
Started in 2009, Cabunoc said they expect more than 250,000 devotees from all over Mindanao to join the traslacion next week.
“The participation of devotees is getting bigger every year. We have devotees coming from as far away as Davao and Zamboanga, “ Cabunoc told reporters.
Dubbed as the “tamer version” of the traslacion in Quiapo, Manila, the annual traslacion here started in 2009 when the Church of Quiapo donated a replica or the Callejeron to the Nazareno parish in Barangay Lapasan, this city.
Cabunoc said there are now three replicas — one in the Nazareno church in Barangay Lapasan; one that is “borrowed by other parishes; and the original Callejeron from Quiapo parish.
“But next week, it is the original Callejeron that would be brought out to the city,” he said.
Cabunoc said the Callejeron will be transferred from Nazareno church to the St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral on Wednesday evening. At 5 a.m. on Thursday, the traslacion will take the Callejeron”from the cathedral to the Nazareno parish church via the city’s main Velez Street.
Cabunoc said at least 3,000 policemen and Army officers will secure the devotees along the one and a half- kilometer walk from the St. Augustine cathedral to the Nazareno church on Wednesday.
At least four ambulances and 50 medical responders will be on stand by along the route.
He said security would be tight especially for those carrying backpacks.
Cabunoc said the police informed him there would be a mobile phone signal blackout on Thursday. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)