A prayerful, somber fiesta for Naga City
After the tragedy the city experienced, it will be a more prayerful fiesta celebration for Naga City this year as devotees to the town’s patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi started novena prayers yesterday, to culminate in the fiesta celebration on Oct. 10.
St. Francis of Assisi is the patron of ecology.
A massive landslide in Barangay Tinaan, killed at least 77 people and wounded several others.
Instead of kicking off with parties and festivities, a solemn procession of the image of St. Francis of Assisi opened the fiesta celebration.
Naga City Councilor Junjie Cruz, who is president of the Parish Pastoral Council of the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi Naga City, said the people should remember “to call unto God at this trying time.”
“This activity should be an occasion of prayer. Subo ni atong pista ron tungod sa mga panghitabo pero ang atong madangpan ang labawag makagagahum ug ang atong igsuon, St. Francis,” Cruz said as he spoke before the attendees of the procession.
(It is a sad fiesta because of what just happened but we can only call on God and our brother St. Francis.)
Naga City Mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong said she instructed the City Administrator to cancel all the activities lined up for the 10-day celebration, among them the LGU-DepEd Night, Dragon Boat Race and Kayaking Competition, a triathlon and the first ever Binibining Naga.
Chiong said they have to forgo with the activities to focus their resources and energy in addressing the needs of the displaced people and in assisting the injured and the families of the casualties.
Only the novena prayers and novena Mass every 6 p.m. from October 1 to 9 and the feast day Mass on October 10 have been retained.
Teresita Alegarbes, one of those who attended the procession yesterday afternoon, said she didn’t mind the absence of any entertainment activities, as she sympathized with the landslide victims and their families.
“Luoy kaayo oi. Sahi pa ba kung sa atoa mahitabo ba. Maayo ra pod nga adto lang sa nila itabang. Bahalag walay kalingawan basta luwas ta,” said 70-year-old Alegarbes.
(It’s really tragic. Can you imagine if it happened to us. It is better to give them assistance. Even if there will be no entertainment activities, it is all right as long as we are saved.)
Alegarbes admitted that she does not regularly attend the procession nor the other church activities during the feast.
“Karon mag-ampo nga di unta mi mahisama og palad ato sa landslide,” said Alegarbes.
(Now I pray that we will not experience the same fate as that of the landslide victims.)
Alegarbes, a resident of Barangay Colon, said she was worried despite living far from the landslide area because she also lived on the slope of a mountain.
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