200,000 devotees join Cagayan de Oro's Traslacion

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Cagayan de Oro City (CNN Philippines, January 9) — Around 200,000 devotees joined the Traslacion of the Black Nazarene in Cagayan de Oro City on Tuesday, authorities said.

The city is one of the few areas outside Quiapo in Manila recognized by the Catholic Church as official hosts of the celebration since 2009.

The procession started at 5:00 a.m. at the St. Augustine Cathedral, passing major streets in the city for two kilometers before it reached the Nazareno Church at 7 a.m.

Devotees were not allowed to touch the image, except for four members of Hijos del Nazareno who caught handkerchiefs used to wipe the icon for luck.

The Hijos or the "Sons of the Nazarene" is a network of religious brotherhoods promoting devotion to the Nazarene, which Catholics believe to be miraculous. 

One of the members, Rexis Napatal, said he felt joy and pride when he carried the image.

"Dako nga kausaban gikan sa akong pagkadeboto. Nakatrabaho ko sa gawas nasod og 4 ko ka tuig. Diri nako naka negosyo og kan-anan diri sa Centrio Ayala og Shopwise. Pero niabot lang bsan wakoy knowledge sa negosyo," Napatal said.

[Translation: A big change had happened to me when I became a devotee. I worked for four years abroad but it's only now that I was able to establish my food business at the Centrio Ayala and Shopwise, even if I don't have enough background on the business.]

Chief Inspector Mardy Hortillosa II, spokesperson of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO), said no untoward incidents were recorded.