Oro prelate leads river procession on St. Augustine Feast-A A +A
Thursday, August 29, 2013
ARCHBISHOP Antonio Ledesma led the river procession bringing with him a smaller image of St. Augustine; while Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno met the prelate as his boat docked at Duaw Park where the river procession ended.
Duaw Park is the newly renovated area adjacent to the tennis court and the Cathedral church which is located below the Ysalina Bridge.
The procession started at the river’s mouth in Barangay Macabalan where 41 boats decorated with flowers and indigenous materials assembled. Everyone aboard the boats also recited the novena.
Each boat, represented by different sectors, carried various religious images.
Ledesma and Moreno led the participants as they made their way to the St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral Church where a High Mass was conducted following the procession.
Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales and 19 other bishops led the High Mass.
“Aside from honoring the city’s patron saint, (this activity also) gave tribute to those who had died and those who survived (Typhoon) Sendong’s wrath in the same river,” Eileen San Juan, chair of this year’s fiesta committee, said during Wednesday’s procession.
“The fluvial procession is also a thanksgiving for the nurturing care that the communities have afforded to our city as well as a promotion of continuing efforts of various stakeholders in the preservation of our river,” she added.
While waiting for the participants to finish, some people enjoyed the scenic view of Duaw Park where the famous icons were displayed after the fluvial procession.
Lalay Gilig, a mother of two, said that despite the solemnity of the activity, it actually added entertainment to the spectators.
Gilig who brought her children to witness the procession is not worried of bomb scare because she knew that the city is closely guarded by law enforcers.
Other onlookers also meditated and gave thanks for a peaceful city fiesta.
Monsignor Elmer Abacahin, the priest who was in charge of peace and security of the St. Augustine Cathedral, said Kagay-anons have a lot of things to be thankful for this year.
“The city has been spared (from) bad elements who wish to destroy our merry making, thus making our celebration more meaningful,” Abacahin said, adding that tight security was enforced inside and around the perimeter of the church.
“This year is indeed a big celebration that is why 18 bishops have joined the celebration, this is the 80th anniversary of the diocese,” he said.
To wrap up the celebration that signifies a peaceful city fiesta, a magnificent musical fireworks display was witnessed by the crowd beside the river later in the evening where the fluvial procession was earlier held.
Moreno said the fireworks display signified peace which he hopes will be felt by all Kagay-anons, as he reminds everyone that the city has a big role to do -- lead Northern Mindanao region.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 29, 2013.