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Thousands of devotees celebrate feast in Tondo

Catholic devotees on Sunday celebrated the feast of the Sto. Nino amid strict implementation of health protocols.

DEVOTEES. Thousands of Catholic devotees celebrate the Feast of the Sto. Nino (Holy Child Jesus) on Sunday Jan. 17, 2021 in Tondo district of Manila, observing social distancing and other protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Arman Clemente
The devotees of the Child Jesus woke up early to celebrate His feast day, and were careful to observe the health protocols being implemented by the authorities.

In Manila, at the Sto. Niño de Tondo Parish, many attended the first Mass held at 4 a.m., according to a report by GMA’s Super Radyo dzBB.

The Manila Police District reminded the devotees that the age restrictions set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases would be strictly implemented in Tondo and Pandacan, allowing only those aged 15 to 65 to attend mass services in honor of the feast of the Christ Child.

The authorities strictly implemented the no face mask, no face shield, no entry policy.

A devotee who did not have a face shield was given one by the police so he could wear it and enter the church.

The authorities also prevented minors from entering the church.

One minor claimed he was of age but the authorities were not convinced. The minor eventually headed home with a relative, and only the mother was able to attend the Mass.

Other minors were made to stay at J. Nolasco and Moriones while their parents headed for the church, according to Super Radyo dzBB.

Those who could not be allowed inside the church due to the limit on the capacity for the areas under the general community quarantine heard Mass outside.

They followed the social distancing markers placed on the ground.

After the first Mass, the devotees started arriving for the second Mass, which was set to start at 6 a.m.

Meanwhile, at the Sto. Niño de Pandacan Parish, also in Manila, the devotees were given contact forms where they were to write their personal details as part of health protocols.

Policemen from the Manila Police District Station 10 were in the area to provide security and ensure that no senior citizens above 65 years old and no minors below 15 were in the area.

The first Mass started at 4:30 a.m.

Five Masses were scheduled in the morning, and another five later in the evening.

Those who could not enter the church given the venue capacity limit were able to hear Mass via the LCD screen outside.

A drug store in the area, which was conducting mobile laboratory services, was warned by authorities after people including senior citizens lined up to avail of them. Authorities said the drug store did not coordinate with them.

The main roads leading to the Sto. Niño de Tondo Parish Church had been closed to motorists as part of the health protocols.

Lakandula and Ilaya Streets, which lead to the popular Sto. Niño Church, were closed to vehicles a day before the feast.

Topics: Sto Niño , Sto Niño Church , Tondo , Manila , feast day , Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases
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