San Fernando all set for ‘Maleldo’

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The City Government of San Fernando is all set for their yearly observance of the Lenten week here as the city finished preparations for at least three crucifixion rites in three different barangays.

This, as Mayor Edwin Santiago launched on Monday "Maleldo" 2014. The mayor officially presented the members of the Executive Committee that are tasked to prepare for the conduct of the city’s Lenten season attraction.

"Considering the great number of visitors and guests coming to San Fernando for this yearly affair, we assure our people that the City Government is prepared for any eventuality and has taken the necessary measures to ensure that order and safety prevail," he added.

Around 50,000 to 60,000 local and foreign tourists are expected to troop to the re-enactment sites, prompting the city government to mobilize some 500 security personnel, including 250 uniformed and plainclothes operatives from the Philippine National Police, emergency medical teams from the City Health Office and San Fernando Rescue Unit and enforcers and aides from the Traffic Management Department.

Maleldo is a re-enactment of Christ’s crucifixion, is practiced by devotees each year. The tradition originated in 1955 with the staging of the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross), a street play written in Kapampangan by Ricardo Navarro.

Maleldo executive committee chairman Harvey Quiwa said that the three "crucifixion" sites in barangays San Juan, Sta. Lucia and the main "Golgotha" area in San Pedro Cutud where the "Via Crusis" will be played on Good Friday are all prepared.

He added that Capitol has agreed to lend the entire compound for parking where pedicabs and calesas will be on standby those going to the main site after the cut-off time of 10:00 a.m. It is also the main assembly area.

Tourists may also join in the Good Friday processions after the crucifixion rites at the San Fernando Cathedral.

Aside from these, pilgrims and tourists may also visit local churches for the Visita Iglesia on Maundy Thursday. Visita Iglesia is a Catholic tradition of visiting at least seven churches and praying before the Blessed Sacrament enthroned in the various Altars of Repose in different churches.

City tourism officer Ching Pangilinan said that interested tourists may coordinate with the city tourism office for further details of the event adding that there will be heightened security for the safety of foreign and local tourists.

"We are also on social media so those going to the city for Maleldo could get updates and latest advisories," she said.

Mayor Edwin Santiago, for his part, encouraged Fernandinos to support in the preservation of the decades-long tradition as well as observe the solemnity of Maleldo.

"Aside from participating in Maleldo activities where the safety of local and foreign tourists is foremost, we would like everyone to join us in reflecting about the sacrifices of our Lord Jesus Christ and observe the solemnity of Lent," he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on April 01, 2014.

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