300 Filipino volunteers donned adult diapers as they formed a human chain barricade on Black Nazarene feast and could not afford a pee break
Manila: Taking their duty as volunteers seriously, 300 volunteers wore diapers on Friday to form a human barricade during a jam-packed open-air Catholic Mass in Manila before a statue of Jesus Christ, which was paraded through city streets for the annual Black Nazarene procession.
Catholic devotees jostle to get closer to the centuries-old image of the Black Nazarene in a raucous celebration on its feast day in Manila, Philippines. Pic/AP
More than five million Filipinos attended Mass at a park, with the Metro Manila Development Authority distributing adult diapers to volunteers who could not leave their posts.
Emergency and police officials said they expect a much bigger crowd when the leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics celebrates Mass at the same venue on January 18.
Authority chairman Francis Tolentino said, “Only the volunteers at Friday’s Mass were required to wear the adult diapers because they cannot leave their positions, otherwise people will come in and break the line.”
Around 2,000 diapers were distributed to civilian auxiliaries on traffic duty for the procession. Tolentino even announced that defaulters would not be penalised as the exercise was optional.
The experiment invited much ridicule on social media with critics questioning why the city authority did not rent more portable toilets. Many devotees were seen urinating in the park. “This has got to be the dumbest idea of the year,” said Twitter user
On the other hand, authority official called it a “practical” option, and released a statement that adult diapers are “used regularly as standard operating gear” by US soldiers, Buckingham Palace guards, and astronauts.
After the Mass, about a million people took part in the procession for a five kilometre walk to the Basilica of the Black Nazarene with a centuries-old black statue of Jesus Christ, which is widely believed to have healing powers.
Barefoot devotees lined the streets to see and try to touch the life-size statue of Jesus kneeling with a cross, in a festival held in the former Spanish colony for more than 200 years.