5 Important Reminders for Feast of Black Nazarene Parade Participants

Feast of the Black Nazarene
Barangay Visitation of the Black Nazarene for the Traslacion that will happen tomorrow, January 9, Thursday. Photo from Quiapo Church Social Media Team.

The much-anticipated procession of the Feast of the Black Nazarene or the Traslacion on Thursday, January 9, has brought on reminders of how previous parades have left mountains of trash along the route, and a plea from the No To Plastic Campaigners for a more environment-friendly celebration.

The EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and pollution watchdog group in the Philippines, called on the cooperation of the Black Nazarene devotees to refrain from using plastic disposables or single use plastic.

The group specifically encouraged the devotees of the Parish of Saint John the Baptist (Quiapo Church), the Archdiocese of Manila, the Manila City Government, the Metro Manila Development Authority, and all concerned barangays and civil society groups to work together and take waste prevention seriously as a form of respect to the Black Nazarene.

EcoWaste Coalition Zero Waste campaigner Daniel Alejandre, in a Philippine Information Agency report, emphasized the objective of the waste prevention during the procession is not just focusing on how quick the garbage is swept, collected, and hauled, “but on how the generation of garbage can be prevented and reduced to the minimum.”

Jove Benosa, also of EcoWaste Coalition, stressed the waste prevention and reduction as a priority concern during the Traslacion. He also pointed out that making the procession plastic-free will be “in line with the call earlier made by Pope Francis to confront this (plastic) emergency”.

“Devotees can show their support to the papal plea against plastic pollution and to the ongoing Manila makeover by minimizing plastic and other residual waste during the conduct of the Traslacion,” Benosa added.

Hernando Coronel, Rector of Quiapo Church, was quoted saying in a Philippine Star report as appealing to “make the protection and preservation of the environment a key part of our responsibility and mission as devotees and followers of Christ.” Other officials of Quiapo Church encouraged the devotees to take part in the zero-waste campaign by lessening plastic waste and other discards for a cleaner and safer Traslacion.

EcoWaste Coalition gave out 5 reminders to the Feast of the Black Nazarene participants:

1) For participants to avoid consuming products in single-use plastics packaging and dispose of trash properly

2) For vendors to refrain selling snacks and drinks in plastic disposables and be responsible for their garbage

3) For volunteers should avoid giving drinks in single-use plastic bags, bottles or cups and refrain from giving meals in styrofoam containers and merely use reusable containers instead

4) For fiesta organizers to avoid using plastic bags such as plastic labo as banderitas or street garlands

5) For all the fiesta participants to prevent and reduce all forms of fiesta waste, and never leave a trash on the road, sidewalk, street corner, park, and plant box.

Millions of Black Nazarene devotees are expected to participate in the annual Black Nazarene procession tomorrow, January 9, Thursday. Last year, around 1.3 million devotees joined in the Traslacion that lasted for 21 hours.

There are more good deeds that promote and preserve the green environment by campaigning for “zero-waste”. Vince Dylan Visey was awarded among the 2019 Outstanding Boy Scouts of Philippines after convincing the Laguna government to campaign for “zero-waste”.

With the help of EcoWate Coalition, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) employees properly dispose their electronic waste (e-waste).

San Miguel Corporation has shifted to biodegradable plastic packaging.

SHARE your tips in the comments below for an environmentally-friendly Feast of the Black Nazarene!

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Rona Mae Vicencio is a co-manager, head writer, and producer of the Music and Entertainment Department of DLSU-D's 95.9 Green FM. Rona is a freelance writer who believes in the power and influence of journalism. She uses her voice and pen for those who aren't heard or can't express themselves.