FOR the first time in Cebu's Sinulog and Fiesta Señor celebration, the Holy Family, composed of the patron image of St. Joseph the Worker, Virgen de Guadalupe de Cebu, and Señor Sto. Niño, will join the seaborne procession on Saturday morning, January 20, 2024.
Lieutenant Colonel Franco Rudolf Oriol, Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) deputy city director for administration and spokesperson, confirmed this on Tuesday, January 16, saying Mandaue City's patron, St. Joseph the Worker, will join the procession.
He said this was also announced by the National Shrine of St. Joseph church.
The seaborne event is a re-enactment of the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan's ship on the shore of Cebu, bringing the image of the Holy Child during the 16th century, which also symbolized the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
During the traditional seaborne parade, only the images of Sto. Niño and Our Lady of Guadalupe are transported by the Naval Forces Central (Navforcen) from Pier 1 to Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.
Meanwhile, Oriol said participants who wish to use their drones to get a good view of the event would have to visit the MCPO to comply with some requirements.
He said they will forward the applications to the Police Regional Office (PRO) Central Visayas and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap) for these agencies to issue operating permits.
Oriol said the initiative is to regulate the number of drones during the event, stressing that too much presence of this equipment could cause harm or injuries to the participating devotees.
He added that, at times, drones could also become a weapon for bombings, among others.
Oriol said they are expecting around 5,000 to 10,000 devotees to flock to and participate in the seaborne event.
He said the MCPO is already 95 percent ready for the Traslacion on Friday, January 19, and the seaborne procession on Saturday.
Oriol said the office allocates the remaining five percent to strengthening its force multipliers and undercover (civilian) police personnel to strengthen their security measures.
MCPO plans to deploy more or less 500 police for the seaborne parade.
He clarified, however, that they did not monitor any terror threats in the city.
Oriol also assured that their daily security operations, including checkpoints and mobile patrols, will remain across all areas in Mandaue despite the city's participation in the conduct of the two Sinulog big events. (HIC)