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Under a drizzling rain, more than two million people walked behind the carroza of the Sto. Niño or waited for hours by the roadside for the “miraculous” image to pass by during the annual solemn procession in Cebu City.

The big turnout echoed a pattern noted since Jan. 7's first day of novena Masses – standing-room, overflowing attendance in religious activities for the feast of the Holy Child.

Three rings of human security cordons around the rose-decked carriage kept fervent devotees from getting too close, but the crush of people - a solemn but orderly trail of faith - was still a remarkable sight.

The annual foot procession, which began with the peal of bells at the Basilica del Sto. Niño at 2 p.m., followed a 6.8 kilometer route down main streets, including V. Rama Avenue and Osmeña Boulevard. The route was one kilometer longer than last year's.

Cebu City Police Director Patrocinio Comendador Jr. estimated the crowd to reach 2 million to 2.3 million, which is bigger than last year's turnout.