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Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso asked devotees of the Black Nazarene to practice their faith at home to prevent risking their lives to the coronavirus disease, according to a report by Manila Bulletin.

Despite the cancellation of the annual Traslacion on January 9, thousands of devotees are still visiting the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila.

“Nananawagan ako ulit, hindi naman siguro masama na hangga’t maaari ay magdasal tayo sa loob ng bahay, ‘yung relasyon natin sa Diyos i-practice natin between Jesus and you, ikaw mismo (I appeal to devotees that perhaps it is not bad to pray inside our homes and enhance your personal relationship with Jesus),” Domagoso said in a statement issued on Monday (January 4). 

“Hindi natin kailangan i-expose ang ating sarili sa mga panganib. Hangga’t maaari, sa mga deboto, ay limitahan natin ang pagtungo sa Poong Nazareno sa araw ng kapistahan (We do not have to expose ourselves to danger. As much as possible, the devotees must limit going to the Black Nazarene on His feast day),” he added.

The streets of Villalobos, Carriedo, Hidalgo, and the newly rehabilitated Plaza Miranda were opened to the public to accommodate those who cannot enter Quiapo Church after churchgoers have filled it to maximum capacity. 

Face shields and face masks are also distributed to devotees inside Quiapo Church to ensure their safety. 

“Tulungan niyo na kami. Mairaraos natin ito ng ligtas. Nagawa natin noong Bagong Taon, nagawa natin noong Pasko. Huwag natin pariwarain yung sampung buwan nating paghihirap (Help us to hold this event safely. We did it on New Year’s Day and Christmas. Let us not put to waste our 10 months of struggle),” Domagoso said.

“Alam ko 10 months masakit sa ulo, emosyon, ekonomiya, trabaho, hanapbuhay, so huwag natin itapon sa basurahan yung sakripisyo natin ng sampung buwan (I know the past 10 months had been a head ache and put a toll on your emotions, the economy, jobs, livelihoods, so let us not waste the sacrifice that we did for the past 10 months),” he added.

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