Thousands in Manila attend 'Black Nazarene' mass

STORY: Waving towels which would traditionally be thrown at a black wooden statue of Jesus Christ during the parade, devotees stood spaced apart outside Quiapo Church housing the centuries-old statue to attend in-person masses, held hourly for 24 hours for people to celebrate the religious festival.

"This year, I pray for my health since we are still in the middle of a pandemic, a good career, and peace in our country," said local resident Edmond Garcia, whose prayers were echoed by many other devotees.

In pre-COVID years, millions of Catholic devotees clad in yellow and maroon would throng the life-sized "Black Nazerene" statue as it is paraded through the streets of Manila aboard a rope-pulled carriage.