Traslacion 2017: A million devotees join Black Nazarene procession to Quiapo Church

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — This year's Traslacion started early Monday morning as the "andas" or carriage of the Black Nazarene left Quirino Grandstand for the Quiapo Church.

Authorities said millions of devotees are expected to line the streets as the Nazareno makes its nearly day-long journey around Manila.

According to the 11 a.m. update of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), around 1.1 million people were in the procession, which was last seen in front of the Manila City Hall. The NCRPO also said there are no reports of untoward incidents.

From Quirino Grandstand, the Black Nazarene's andas or carriage will turn left on Katigbak Drive through Padre Burgos, then left on Taft Avenue through Jones Bridge.


Both lanes will be closed. Pedicab drivers have temporarily stopped operations, but they insist on parking their pedicabs on the street side.

They said they don't think they are causing obstruction to devotees joining the Traslacion.

From Jones Bridge, the Andas will turn right on Dasmariñas and Plaza Sta. Cruz. It will then take a left on C. Palanca St.

Palanca St. is typically a wide road if not for the street vendors, but they said they know their limits on the day of Traslacion. Authorities will also clear a nearby motorcycle parking area, which occupies a big space on Palanca St.

From here, the routes gets narrower as the procession goes to the smaller and crowded streets — that's from Arlegui, Fraternal, Nepomuceno, Concepcion Aguila, Carcer and Hidalgo.

Street vendors also occupy both sides of Hidalgo and Bilibid Viejo. Some said they will take a break on the day of Traslacion, while others will still operate.

Besides the identified routes, nearby streets will also be full of devotees, like Gonzalo St.

From here, the Black Nazarene carriage will take Z.P. De Guzman St., then Hidalgo. It will then turn left on A. Bautista, followed by the crowded street of Globo de Oro.

The parade will proceed to back Palanca St., then to Villalobos through Plaza Miranda until it finally arrives at Quiapo Church.

Authorities on full alert

Authorities are on full alert for possible threats and casualties during the annual event.

Philippine National Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa said ISIS-inspired terror groups in Mindanao could possibly retaliate after government troops killed the leader of terror group Ansar Al-Khilafa in an encounter in Sarangani on Thursday.

Read: PNP Chief: There is serious security threat on Black Nazarene feast

Authorities are also looking at the possible presence of Maute group members in Manila.

Dela Rosa said all forces of the Metro Manila police are deployed to secure the Traslacion, with additional forces coming from Central Luzon and Calabarzon.

Authorities likewise remind the public, especially those planning to camp out at the Quirino Grandstand, that gas tanks, stoves, sharp objects and deadly weapons are prohibited.

They also discourage the people to wear backpacks, as they will be strict in inspecting suspicious belongings.


Hospitals on 'blue alert'

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) has placed all hospitals in Metro Manila under "Code Blue alert."


This means half of all hospital personnel shall report for duty.

The agency will be in constant coordination with the National Disaster Risk Reducion and Management Council to monitor the situation.

DOH spokersperson Eric Tayag said they are deploying eight medical teams along the Traslacion route.

As of 12:30 p.m., the Philippine National Red Cross reported treating 899 patients.

Of these, 576 patients were treated for high blood pressure, 310 for minor injuries (toothache, dizziness, wounds, stiff neck, allergies, bruises, abrasion), one for major injuries, four were taken to the hospital (abdominal pain, hypertension, avulsion, fracture) and eight were brought to the Welfare Desk.

Correspondents Triciah Terada and Ivy Saunar contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Please refresh the page for updates.