THE daylong activity marking the feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila was generally peaceful, a local government official said Friday.
The image of the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno (Black Nazarene) has successfully returned to its home at the Quiapo Church around 2 a.m. Friday, after an 18-hour grueling procession.
Manila Vice Mayor Isko said that the time frame for "traslacion" of the religious image has met their expectations. The six-kilometer long procession started at the Quirino grandstand at the Rizal Park.
"Kami po ay natutuwa sapagkat kahit may mga nasugatan, overall peaceful pa din ang traslacion at ngayong taon na 'to ay walang namatay sa kasagsagan ng prusisyon di tulad ng mga nagdaang taon," Moreno said.
Officials said that close to 2,000 devotees have been given medical attention by the Department of Health and the Philippine Red Cross.
Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairperson Francis Tolentino said 12 million devotees attended the event.
The Traslacion started at around 7:30 a.m., which is slightly early compared with the itinerary released by the organizers after Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle was not able to finish the Mass as a crowd of barefooted devotees grabbed the image of the religious patron before the distribution of the Holy Communion and tried to place it to the "Andas" (carriage).
Some 450 police personnel assigned to secure the grandstand were not able to control the excited crowd who broke the security barrier along the vicinity of the venue after Tagle finished his homily.
A second wave of commotion erupted after the image passed near the Manila City Hall as some "conservative" devotees attempted to divert the procession to its original route along McArthur Bridge instead of the Jones Bridge, the new route approved by the organizers.
Some devotees even tried to the remove several container vans, which served as road blocks, along the entrance of the McArthur Bridge but the anti-riot police showed their might and the traslacion pushed through as planned and proceeded to the Jones Bridge.
Meanwhile, despite calls from various sectors to keep the grand procession clean during the entire day, authorities have collected 336 tons garbage after the event.
The MMDA has collected around 28 truckloads of trash left by the millions of devotees who took part in Thursday's traslacion.
Francis Martinez, head of the agency's Metro Parkway Clearing Group that most garbage consisted mainly of plastic food wrappers, empty water bottles and barbecue sticks. (Sunnex)