The mammoth crowd gathering for the popular Cebu’s Sto. Niño grand procession, along with other major activities of the Fiesta Señor in January 2021 has been cancelled.
The friars of the Order of St. Augustine (OSA) made the decision to prevent the devotees from being contracted with the dreaded coronavirus diseases or Covid19 pandemic which has killed more than 1 million people all over the world.
Previously, the image of Sto. Niño has been paraded from the Basilica in Cebu City to Mandaue City’s St. Joseph Parish and to the Virgen de la Regla National Shrine in Lapu-Lapu City, including a fluvial procession at the Mactan Channel.
Cancelled also were the Penitential Walk with Jesus, Penitential Walk with Mary, the Solemn Foot Procession and the opening ritual walk from Fuente Osmeña to the Basilica which could draw an estimated crowd of 300,000.
Fr. Pacifico Nohara Jr., head of OSA priests, said the festivities will instead be focused on Eucharistic celebrations at the Sto. Niño Pilgrim Center inside the compound of the 455-year-old Basilica at the heart of Cebu City.
New schedules of novena masses until the fiesta mass on January 17 will be presented by the priests to make sure that there will be intervals to help control the number of devotees inside the Basilica compound to prevent Covid 19 transmission.
Photo: Philippine Star