Temperatures could exceed comfortable levels on the afternoon of Monday, during the annual day-long 'Traslacion' procession of the Black Nazarene in Manila.
"Black Nazarene devotees planning to join the event must bring water to drink so they can refresh themselves when needed," said weather forecaster Glaiza Escullar of the state weather bureau, PAGASA.
She noted that Metro Manila's temperature between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Monday could reach 32C, exceeding the 30.6C average maximum January temperature reading at PAGASA's Science Garden station.
"Comfortable temperature is between 29C and 30C only," she said.
She however clarified that the expected level of discomfort this Monday is still less compared to what is usually experienced during the March to May period when PAGASA releases heat index information to guide the people accordingly.
PAGASA said the country's temperature and humidity are at maximum levels during such period.
"Our air isn't too humid during January," Escullar noted.
The Jan. 9 procession, which starts at the Quirino Grandstand and winds its way back to Quiapo Church, re-enacts the Black Nazarene statue's transfer or 'Traslacion' to Quiapo Church in 1787.
According to traditional accounts, a priest brought a statue of the Black Nazarene or Nuestro Padre Hesus Nazareno to the Philippines from Mexico during the galleon trade around 1606.
From the Church of Recollect Fathers in Intramuros, it was transferred to Quiapo Church, according to the wishes of the Archbishop of Manila at that time. The statue has since remained in Quiapo Church.
The procession can last almost a day as the event draws millions of Black Nazarene devotees who aim to touch the image to obtain blessings.
Meanwhile, in its 11 a.m. severe weather bulletin released Saturday, PAGASA said the low-pressure area off Mindanao has already intensified into a tropical depression.
PAGASA however does not expect such tropical depression, which bears the local name 'Auring', to affect Metro Manila this Monday.
'Auring' will mainly affect the Visayas and Mindanao, said PAGASA weather forecaster Cris Perez.
Escullar also said PAGASA has forecast generally fair weather in Metro Manila on Monday.
"Metro Manila then can expect clear skies and passing light rains only," she said.
She noted the northeast monsoon or 'amihan' will bring such rains but not the strong to gale-force winds this weather system is fanning in Northern and Eastern Luzon.
"It's even possible for Metro Manila to have no rain at all this Monday," she said.
Earlier, Manila mayor and former Philippine president Joseph Estrada assured security measures for Monday's 'Traslacion'.
He said the city government is prepared to address emergencies arising from the event. Authorities have beefed up preparations as attendance to the event increases every year.
Source: Philippines News Agency