Manila, Philippines – The grand Black Nazarene procession in Manila Thursday left 28 trucks or 336 tons of garbage, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said yesterday.
Francis Martinez, head of the MMDA’s Metro Parkway Clearing Group, said street sweepers began the cleanup operation at the procession’s starting point at the Quirino Grandstand and as devotees move toward the Minor Basilica.
Collected waste materials were composed of plastic bottles, barbecue sticks, candy wrappers, biscuit and wafer wrappers, crumpled plastic bag, and spoiled food.
He said tons of trash were transferred to Pier 18 for delivery to the sanitary landfill.
With their counterpart from the city government of Manila, the MMDA street sweepers continued yesterday their cleanup operations at Plaza Miranda and surroundings of the Quiapo church.
A fire truck was also sent to flush the surroundings with water to remove the stench of garbage.
The annual “traslacion” procession or the transfer of the image of the Black Nazarene from the Quirino Grandstand to the Quiapo Church in Manila Thursday ended after 19 hours.
According to a radio report, the “andas” or carriage bearing His image arrived at the Quiapo Church at nearly 2 a.m. The image left Luneta past 7:30 a.m. Thursday.
The long wait, however, did not deter devotees waiting inside and outside Quiapo Church.
When the image arrived, devotees chanted “Viva! Viva!” while waving their towels in the air as a way of welcoming the Senor Nazareno.
Monsignor Clemente Ignacio, rector of Quiapo Church, earlier said that the Church expects this year’s procession to be longer compared to last year due to the slight change in the traditional route. In 2012, the procession took 19 hours.
Organizers of the traslacion earlier changed the route of the procession from MacArthur Bridge to Jones Bridge to ensure the safety of the devotees.
An official of the Department of Public Works and Highways warned on the structural integrity of MacArthur Bridge due to minor cracks and is subject for retrofitting.
Although no major incident took place during the duration of the procession, Catholic prelates stressed the need for the devotees to be continuously catechized.