What's new for Traslacion 2018

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 3) — Traffic authorities and church officials said there will be changes to this year's commemoration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene.

The Metro Manila Development Authority has announced a new route for Traslacion 2018, or the transfer of the Black Nazarene's image from Quirino Grandstand to the Quiapo Church.

Instead of passing through the east-bound lane of P. Burgos and Lagusnilad, the procession will use the westbound lane to Jones Bridge. It will skip the traditional routes of McArthur and Quezon bridges.

"Maiiwasan natin 'yung dalawang tulay na laging challenge sa mga devotees. Baka makatulong din ito sa pagpapabilis ng prusisyon," Alex Irasga of the Traslacion's technical working committee said.

[Translation: We will avoid the two bridges that prove to be a challenge for the devotees. It might also help speed up the procession.]

Traslacion-2018-route.png The route for this year's Traslacion.

But roads will be closed as early as Sunday, January 7 from 1 p.m. onwards:

  • southbound lane of Quezon Boulevard near Quiapo,
  • eastbound lane of CM Recto Avenue (from Rizal Avenue to SH Loyola St.),
  • westbound lane of España Boulevard (from P. Campa St. to Lerma St.).

Road-closure-nazarene-2018.png Certain roads will be closed to make way for this year's Traslacion.

Quiapo Church Rector Monsignor Hernando Coronel also said organizers will introduce 12 prayer stations along the procession route.

"Para more religious, spiritual kasi 'yung accent ng ating mga pangalanin sa beginning and end," Coronel told CNN Philippines Wednesday.

The stations will also announce quick response units in case of emergency. Around 6,500 policemen will also be deployed to attend to emergencies.

MMDA Spokesperson Celine Pialago also said 1,300 traffic enforcers will be deployed beginning January 5, Friday.

"On the part of emergency preparedness our team assigned at Quirino Grandstand for first aid and in charge of Pahalik line," Pialago said in a message, referring to the traditional kissing of the Black Nazarene statue.

The Traslacion, a ritual that has been going on for 220 years, begins at 5 a.m. from the grandstand, and may take almost a day. In 2017, the Traslacion reportedly took more than 22 hours before the image of the Black Nazarene was returned to the Quiapo Church.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Anjo Alimario and digital producer Chad de Guzman contributed to this report.