Thousands join Fiesta Pilar procession-A A +A
By Bong Garcia
Saturday, October 12, 2013
THOUSANDS of devotees joined the grand procession and the Pontifical Mass at the Our Lady of the Pillar shrine on Saturday highlighting Fiesta Pilar celebration.
Employees of the City Government, headed by Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar and Representative Celso Lobregat (2nd district, Zamboanga City), joined the devotees in the grand procession.
The grand procession started at 2:30 p.m. at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Concepcion (MCIC) in La Purisima Street and ended at the shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar in the village of Zone IV. A Pontifical Mass followed the grand procession at the shrine.
The Fort Pilar Shrine, which is located in the area of conflict, was one of the facilities that have been prohibited due to possible security risks.
The religious activities kicked off at 4:30 a.m. Saturday for the mañanita mass at the MCIC and was followed by four other masses at 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., and 12:15 a.m.
This year’s celebration was focused on religious activities which started in October 3 with the novena mass held at the Centro Pastoral.
The Fort Pilar was opened for private devotions in October 5, a day after the shrine was cleared and turned over to the management along with 12 other agencies and establishments.
The Fort Pilar Shrine, which was built by the Spanish colonial government, emerged unscathed despite the fierce gunfight last month.
The Fiesta Pilar is the highlight of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival every October, but the City Government has decided to forgo with the festival due to the standoff.