THE drizzle experienced on the dawn of Friday, January 19, 2024, did not waver the faith of around 250,000 devotees who joined the Walk with Mary procession.
The foot procession started at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Church, passing through Fuente Osmeña Rotunda and Osmeña Blvd., going to Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño. It started at 2:30 a.m.
Last year, around 400,000 attended the penitential walk.
Police Brigadier General Anthony Aberin, Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO 7) director, in a statement on Friday, said that this year's Walk with Mary was peaceful and manageable.
“The religious undertaking was very solemn and peaceful. We did not encounter any problems with our security measures during the walk. With everyone committing to work together into one force, we can ensure a safe, solemn, and colorful Sinulog celebration,” said Aberin.
Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Deputy City Director for Operation Police Lieutenant Colonel Janette Rafter said that the target time when the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe arrived at the Basilica pilgrim was followed.
The police personnel prohibited the devotees to go near the images of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Sto. Nino to avoid disrupting the flow of procession.
"Magpasalamat kami sa kooperasyon sa tanan kay kasabot gyud mi sa gibati sa tanan, ilabi na kay kini usa ra gyud ka panghitabo sa usa ka tuig nga gusto gyud moduol, gusto gyud mosulod sa karosa, nagpasalamat mi sa ilang pagpaminaw, sa atong mga hangyo nga dili lang gyud nato, og daghan naman gud kaayo didto sa atubangan maalihan ang atong karosa ug dili na nato ma-beat ang atong oras", said Rafter.
Rafter said there were no reported theft incidents during the procession.
She said the preparation of the police forces continues with few days before the Fiesta Senor and Sinulog day on Jan. 21.
Rafter urged the public to follow the policies which will be implemented for the Fiesta Senor and Sinulog for a safe and peaceful celebration.
Also read: Walk with Jesus draws 200K devotees