MANILA – Priests from Quiapo Church are calling out to the devotees of the Black Nazarene who want to kiss the statue not to take selfies during the parade on Friday in order to speed up the line of people and prevent delays.
“We appeal to devotees, please, don’t take selfies immediately before, during, or after you get your turn at the pahalik,” said Fr. Ric Valencia, parochial vicar of Quiapo Church.
It is a common practice among Filipinos to touch, stroke, or kiss the feet of the statue while they pray. Valencia said that some devotees take photos or “selfies” of themselves and their companions. This resulted to delay and queues, blocking out the way of other devotees.
“It would really speed up the line if people do not take selfies while they are near the Nazarene. This, aside from obviously affecting the holiness or the sacred presence around the image of the Black Nazarene,” he said.
Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Tuesday signed Executive Order No. 2 that bans alcohol during the Feast of the Black Nazarene and during the Papal visit next week.
“These are consecutive events in Manila, and we need to ensure that we can maintain peace and order in the city by whatever means we can,” said Estrada during a press conference for the preparations.
Under E.O. No. 2, “no person shall sell, offer, serve, buy or take beer, wine or intoxicating liquors on any street, sidewalk, plaza or any other place within 200 meters” of certain places.
These places are identified as the following: the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (commonly known as Quiapo Church), the route of the procession, and the vigil area around Quirino Grandstand, and other activity areas of the procession.
Moreover, the alcohol ban is also effective within 200 meters from where the Black Nazarene can be found while in transit.