This year’s festivities to see major changes

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014


STARTING tomorrow, balloon vendors will no longer be allowed inside the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino and the procession routes.

This is part of the major changes implemented by the organizing committee of the feast of the Santo Niño from Jan. 9 to 19.

In a press conference yesterday, the organizing committee, led by Fr. Jonas Mejares, said they no longer allow balloon sellers inside the Basilica starting Thursday.

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Lawyer Rafael Yap, executive director of the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom), said they ban balloons in the area after last year’s incident where an electrical transformer exploded after a balloon got entangled with the electrical wires.

The incident caused a blackout during a procession in downtown Cebu City.

Yap said they will also discouraged street vendors from selling their wares along the procession routes to avoid disrupting the movement of the crowd.

Another major change in this year’s fiesta Señor celebration is the inclusion of an 11th mass to the usual 10 novena masses at the basilica.

Mejares said that from Jan. 9 to 19, 11 masses will be held. The basilica will be opened 24 hours a day during the 11-day novena masses.

There are also changes in the setup of the novena masses, such as implementing a carousel type communion.

During the solemn procession, Citom will close the route starting at 10 a.m.

The procession will begin at the basilica, moving towards the streets of Magallanes, Borromeo, Sanciangko, Panganiban, Natalio Bacalso, V. Rama, B. Rodriguez, before going to Osmeña Blvd. and back to the basilica.

Manholes

Yap said they are coordinating with the Department of Public Works and Highways to de-clog manholes along the procession routes in case of rain.

Changes have also been implemented for the Traslacion and the fluvial procession.

Lawyer Pat Acabodillo, who chairs the fluvial and Traslacion preparations, said that for the fluvial procession, the galleon that will take the image of the Santo Niño and the Lady of Guadalupe from Mandaue City to Cebu City will be docked in another area at the Ouano Wharf.

Acabodillo said the original galleon is under repair.

Acabodillo said they strictly prohibit unauthorized persons from boarding the main galleon. Only Mejares, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, priests and the Hermano and Hermana mayor will be allowed to board the galleon.

From Mandaue City, the galleon will travel to Cebu City and will make a turn to Barangay Pasil before proceeding to Pier 1 at 8 a.m.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 08, 2014.

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