Fluvial procession, yes, but smaller boats out

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Thursday, January 16, 2014


THE weather bureau gave this Saturday’s fluvial parade a go signal, but with a catch: small boats will not be allowed to join.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) told organizers to push through with the fluvial procession despite the rainy weather, but asked the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) not to allow small vessels to participate.

Pagasa Mactan weather bureau chief Oscar Tabada said light to moderate rain is still expected on Saturday.

Tabada visited Cebu City Hall yesterday to update Mayor Michael Rama of the latest weather forecast in the next few days.

Wind movement he said will reach 15 to 30kph on Saturday.

He said big vessels can withstand the weather condition this Saturday.

He said that the low tide on Saturday is a big factor to allow the fluvial procession since it will not produce big waves even if it will rain. The height of the tide will only reach up to .23 meters at around 5:55 a.m.

Tabada, though, clarified that it will still be the PCG who will decide on the cancellation of the event since Pagasa only provides the weather forecast.

“It will still be PCG’s discretion to cancel or not the fluvial, Pagasa will just recommend and provide the data,” Tabada told reporters.

Rain

There will also be light to moderate rain shower on the solemn foot procession on Saturday afternoon.

Tabada said, Cebu will experience moderate to heavy rain on Friday. A better weather condition will be observed on the grand parade on Sunday.

“The weather condition on Sunday will be much better than the condition last week, though there will still be rain,” he added.

Tabada also clarified that there is no storm signal yet and only the low pressure area
(LPA) is affecting the Visayas that caused the rain.

There is also a low chance that the LPA will develop into a tropical storm, Tabada added.

Registered

As of yesterday, the Cebu Coast Guard had registered 29 vessels that will join the
fluvial procession.

Cebu Coast Guard Commander Rodulfo Villajuan said they registered 11 big vessels and 18 motorbancas.

The registration will end today, but Villajuan said they may still give chances to those who are interested despite the deadline.

When asked if they may have to cancel the fluvial procession if there is a low pressure area, Villajuan said this may be decided on the day of the procession.

“Hindi kami basta-basta makaka-declare nyan, if there will be a low pressure or typhoon we will have a coordination with the different concerned parties such as the basilica for the cancellation of the fluvial if ever,” explained Villajuan.

This year, the fluvial procession will take a shorter route to the Ouano wharf, where the galleon-inspired motorized boat that will take the images of the Sto. Niño, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe and St. Joseph back to Cebu City is docked.

From the St. Joseph National Shrine, the procession will proceed to S.B. Cabahug St., A. Soriano Ave., J.M. Ceniza, then to the Ouano wharf. In the past years, the procession passes through P. Burgos, C. Ouano, C.M. Cabahug Sts. and then to the Ouano wharf.

During last year’s fluvial, almost 150 vessels joined the procession.

Villajuan, who is new on his post, said he cannot yet tell if there will be more vessels joining this year, but he hopes that it will be a successful procession.

He said they will still have to decide on what to do to unregistered vessels who will join the fluvial.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 16, 2014.

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