MANILA (Updated, 12:48 p.m.) – Some 197 people were treated for foot injuries as millions of barefoot devotees gathered Saturday to commemorate the annual Feast of the Black Nazarene, the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) said.

PNRC secretary general Gwendolyn Pang said aside foot injuries, more than 75 people have experienced dizziness and hypertension while taking part in the procession.

She advised people who have abnormal blood pressures to stay away from the sea of devotees joining the procession.

Radio dzMM reported that an 80-year-old woman identified as Adelina Bautista was brought to a nearby hospital after she was accidentally hit by a steel bar at the start of the procession at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park.

Black Nazarene devotees Wacky Cataquis of Laguna and Alberto Tolosa of Tondo reportedly suffered difficulty in breathing while trying to jostle through in an effort to get closer to more than 200-year-old religious icon.

Red Cross volunteers brought Cataquis and Tolosa to the nearest first aid station.

Pang said the PNRC deployed some 250 medical volunteers throughout the procession route.

The Manila Police District estimated some two million people had gathered along the route of the often-tumultuous procession. Church officials expected the crowd to reach three million.

The crowd, mostly wearing maroon and yellow, started coming late afternoon Friday and at dawn Saturday.

Some devotees, many carrying small towels or handkerchiefs, breached the barriers and squeezed their way to touch the statue even before the mass ended. Vice President Noli de Castro, a devotee of the Black Nazarene also attended this year's feast.

Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales officiated the 6 a.m. mass. The procession started smoothly at 7:30 a.m.

The translacion reenacts the voyage of the image of the Black Nazarene from Mexico to Manila in 1607.

From the Quirino Grandstand, the historic procession will pass through Katigbak Drive, Padre Burgos St., McArthur Bridge, Carlos Palanca St., P. Gomez St., P. Paterno St., Quezon Boulevard, Arlegui, Fraternal St., Vergara St., Duque de Alba St., Castillejos St., Farnecio St., J. Nepomuceno St., C. Aguila St., Carcer St., R. Hidalgo St., Bilibid Viejo St., Gil Puyat St., Z. P. de Guzman St., R. Hidalgo St., Barbosa St., Globo de Oro St., Villalobos St., and Plaza Miranda before getting to Quiapo Church.

A Spanish priest has been believed to have brought the ebony statue of Christ in Manila and while aboard in a ship, a fire caught the statue turning its white complexion to black.

The survival of the statue of the Black Nazarene in the fire and the many miracles it has brought to its devotees' life has been the basis of their great faith to the Nazarene.

Since 1787, the statue has been housed at the Saint John de Baptist Church in Quiapo. (Sunnex)