Devotees of the Black Nazarene do not have to put their lives at risk to express their faith and devotion amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso said.

The Mayor encouraged the devotees to express their faith and show compassion to their loved ones by limiting their possible exposure to the virus.

“Nananawagan ako ulit, hindi naman siguro masama na hangga’t maaari ay magdasal tayo sa loob ng bahay, yung relasyon natin sa Diyos i-practice natin between Jesus and you, ikaw mismo,” Domagoso said.

“Hindi natin kailangan i-expose ang ating sarili sa mga panganib. Hangga’t maaari, sa mga deboto, ay limitahan natin ang pagtungo sa Poong Nazareno sa araw ng kapistahan,” he added.

The feast of the Black Nazarene is being celebrated by millions of devotees every January 9.

Domagoso said the streets of Villalobos, Carriedo, Hidalgo, as well as the newly rehabilitated Plaza Miranda were made available to the public who were not allowed to enter Quiapo Church due to its maximum capacity.

Face shields and face masks are likewise being distributed to the devotees inside Quiapo Church in order to further assure the safety of the public.

“Kaya mga kababayan, tulungan niyo na kami. Mairaraos natin ito ng ligtas. Nagawa natin noong Bagong Taon, nagawa natin noong Pasko. Huwag natin pariwarain yung sampung buwan nating paghihirap,” the Mayor said.

“Alam ko 10 months masakit sa ulo, emosyon, ekonomiya, trabaho, hanapbuhay, so huwag natin itapon sa basurahan yung sakripisyo natin ng sampung buwan,” he added.