'Fastest, most orderly' Traslacion, say Quiapo Church officials

AFTER 16 hours and 30 minutes, the annual procession of the Black Nazarene was finally able to come home to the Quiapo Church to signal the conclusion of the Traslacion 2020.

And according to officials of the Quiapo Church, the 2020 edition of the annual procession of the Black Nazarene can be considered as the fastest one in recent history.

"One of the fastest in recent memory," said Quiapo Church Rector Msgr Ding Coronel in an interview.

This was seconded by Quiapo Church Vicar General Fr Douglas Badong, who added that it is also one of the most orderly processions they've had.

"Fastest and most orderly procession so far," said Badong in a separate interview.

Coronel says he can only recall the first ever Traslacion as the one that can probably rival this year's procession.

"I think the first one was really fast. There were no devotees climbing into the andas, no andas, no rope back then," said Coronel.

On Thursday, the image of the Black Nazarene reached its home at the Quiapo Church at 8:45 pm after leaving the Quirino Grandstand at 4:15 am.

For context, the four latest editions of the Traslacion lasted for 21 hours (2019), 22 hours (2018), 22 hours (2017), and 20 hours (2016).

Badong said the shorter time for the procession can be attributed to the proper coordination of the government agencies and the church in conducting the procession.

"We can attribute this to the proper coordination between the church and the local government, as well as the national government agencies, especially the police," said Badong.

As to the criticisms thrown at the introduction of the "andas wall", Badong said such changes are only aimed at improving the annual procession.

"They were not prevented from getting near the Black Nazarene. The andas wall was put in place not to prevent them, but in order to make the procession peaceful and orderly," said Badong.

To recall, not a few devotees slammed the introduction of the andas wall by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) saying it prevented many devotees from being able to get near the image as part of the long-standing tradition.

Add to this claims of some devotees of being victims of police brutality when they attempt to penetrate the andas wall, which covers the front and the sides of the carriage. (SunStar Philippines)