President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday urged Filipinos to be faithful as they brave through life to overcome its challenges as he joined Filipino Catholics in celebrating the Feast of the Black Nazarene.

“As the Catholic Faithful expresses their devotion to the Black Nazarene, let us also remember its deep rootedness in our Filipino culture of overcoming the great trials and tribulations in our midst,” Marcos said in a statement.

“Indeed, it is through our faith that we can conquer the storms that loom ahead of us and bring forth a life filled with grace and steadfastness,” he added.

The president also said Filipinos should embody the love, hope, and compassion exhibited by Jesus.

“Together, let us embody these values as we write a new chapter in our nation’s narrative so we can altogether usher in an era of peace and prosperity for all. I wish everyone a safe, meaningful, and solemn observance,” he said.

Marcos Jr. declared Jan. 9 a special non-working day in Manila for the Feast of the Black Nazarene.

This year’s Black Nazarene feast did not feature the Traslacion or the grand procession of the image of the Black Nazarene because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 100,000 devotees attended the Misa Mayor on Monday midnight at the Quirino Grandstand, while more than 200,000 devotees went to the Quiapo Church during the feast. John Ezekiel J. Hirro