THE Fiesta Señor celebration in Cebu City continues Sunday, January 15, with the Catholic faithful encouraged to unite and not abuse creation, but to protect and preserve it for the next generations.

Fr. Cosme de la Pena, who celebrated the Holy Mass held at the Cebu City Sports Center, stressed the theme of this year's celebration, which is "Sto. Niño: Source of communion, protector of creation."

"Unsa may pasabot sa communion? Sa creation?" he asked.

He said as one Christian family, "we cannot move into our directions, our final goal unless we have one and the same direction...We must have one and the same vision and mission."

"We can only become communion if we unite ourselves and at the same time we go into one direction, vision and mission," Fr. De la Pena said, citing protecting creation as the people's vision and mission.

"The first chapter of the Book of Genesis tells us about the works of creation. It took God six days to create everything, and when everything was ready, he created man on the sixth day. Pagkabulahan sa tawo. Gihimo kita sa dihang andam na ang tanan," he told the people who gathered at the Cebu City Sports Center Sunday.

"But God said to man: I will make you in-charge of my creation. You will be having control, dominion over the fish of the sea, wild beasts on the land. Go to the world and multiply," he added, stressing this is where the people's responsibility to protect creation comes in.

Fr. De la Pena told the people that to destroy creation is to destroy the very original intention of God, which is for creation to be protected, preserved, developed and promoted. "To destroy the creation of God is to destroy the very mission of man."

"We are enjoined, invited by Sto. Nino to group ourselves with direction; form into a communion... We are just stewards here on earth. Our task is not to abuse creation, but to preserve it in favor of our younger generations," he ended.

The Mass at the Cebu City Sports Center started around 9 a.m.

After the mass, Mayor Tomas Osmena declared the Sinulog celebration open, signaling the start of this year's parade, which has a shorter route this year. (LMY/SunStar Philippines)