AT LEAST 25 sea vessels will escort the galleon carrying the image of the Virgin Mary for today’s seabone procession to mark the feast of Our Lady of the Rule in Lapu-Lapu City.
The activity will kick off from the wharf of the Pacific Cebu Resort (PCR) in Barangay Suba-Basbas at 7 a.m. and end at the Muelle Osmeña Wharf in Barangay Poblacion around 9 a.m., said City Tourism Commissioner Donatila Amores.
Nedz Saletrero, weather specialist of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, said that the scattered light to moderate rains are expected within the day.
Although a low-pressure area was spotted in General Santos City at 5 p.m. yesterday, she said this will not yet affect Central Visayas.
Saletrero assured that the scattered rain showers will not hamper the procession. “Magdala lang tag payong as protection sa ulan (Just bring an umbrella),” she said.
It will be the first time that the image of the Virgin Mary will be carried in the galleon, which has been used for the fluvial procession of the Señor Sto. Niño. (The Ouano family of Mandaue City owns the vessel.)
The galleon will sail in the Mactan Channel, passing the shores of Barangays Maribago, Marigondon, Mactan, Punta Engaño, Buaya, Ibo, Pajo and Poblacion.
“While the procession is (a) seaborne (activity), a chopper from the Philippine Air Force will drop the first shower of petals. The two other drops will follow in the vicinity of the Marcelo Fernan Bridge and at the Muelle Osmeña before the galleon docks, signalling the end of the procession,” Amores said.
Senior Supt. Rommel Cabagnot, Lapu-Lapu City Police Office director, discouraged people from using firecrackers, when the image is brought to the PCR.
Members of the Air Force, Navy and the Coast Guard will secure the procession route. The City’s sea ambulance and emergency responders will also be positioned in strategic areas.
Mayor Paz Radaza and city officials are expected to receive the image of the Our Lady of Rule at the Muelle Osmeña Wharf. The image will then be taken to the Virgen de la Regla Parish for a mass at 10 a.m., marking the start of the first day of the novena for the fiesta celebration.
Meanwhile, there will be a competition for most decorated vessel.
The judges will be Col. Vicente Naldoza, Jr., Capt. Arlene Lao, and 2nd Lt. Jerome Quiros, of the Air Force.
For barangay-based and private company-based categories, winners will win P7,000 for first prize; P5,000 for second prize; and P3,000 for third prize.