Palace to Nazareno devotees: Look out for one another

Paterno Esmaquel II
'Let us still remain calm and sober,' Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella says ahead of the Feast of the Black Nazarene

PALACE REMINDER. The Palace reminds devotees of the Black Nazarene to stay calm and sober during the annual procession on January 9, 2017. Photo by Franz Lopez/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang urged devotees of the Black Nazarene to look out for one another as they join the annual Traslacion procession on Monday, January 9. 

“Let us just be careful, and let us still remain calm and sober, and let us again look out for one another,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in an interview with state-run dzRB on Saturday, January 7.

“On the other hand,” he added, “let us continue to enjoy the benefits of folk spirituality.”

The Palace issued this reminder as Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno said the terrorist Maute Group as well as the Abu Sayyaf Group might target the Feast of the Black Nazarene on Monday.

The Feast of the Black Nazarene is held on January 9 each year.

It is expected to draw up to 8 million devotees raring to touch or see a 17th-century mulatto image of Jesus Christ, in a procession called the Traslacion.

Police earlier said more than 5,700 law enforcers will be deployed to secure Nazareno devotees on Monday. 

At the same time, green group EcoWaste Coalition reminded devotees on Saturday that Rizal Park, where the Traslacion begins, is a no smoking and no littering zone. –

Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at