Monday’s earthquake delayed arrival of Luzon pilgrims to NYD 2019

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio April 24,2019 - 03:01 PM

National Youth Day pilgrims danced to the music of the”Servant of the Lord,” the official theme song for this year’s celebration during an activity held at the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. /Futch Anthony Inso

CEBU CITY, Philippines –The 6.1 magnitude earthquake that rocked northern Luzon provinces on Monday, April 22, caused delays in the arrival of National Youth Day participants coming from this part of the country.

Some of the northern Luzon participants arrived only today because of their need to travel to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for their flights to Cebu while others are still on their way here.

Fr. Joselito Batitoy, NYD Festival Sites over-all chairman, said delegates coming from Pampangga and other northern Luzon provinces were supposed to board their flights at the Clark International Airport (CIA) in Pampangga but this was damaged by the earthquake and has remained close for the day.

“The arrival of the (northern Luzon) delegates was smooth except for the delay (in the travel) of some delegates because of the earthquake,” said Batitoy.

Bryner Diaz, NYD 2019 media liaison, said they expect around 3,000 pilgrims from Luzon.

Bishop Leopildo Jaocan (3rd from left), Episcopal Youth Committee chairperson, and Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas (2nd from left), director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas, provided updates on the arrival of National Youth Day pilgrims in a press conference held earlier today. /Delta Dyrecka Letigio

The Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) recorded the arrival of 6,624 pilgrims accompanied by 17 bishops on Tuesday, April 23.

The Archdiocese of Cebu expects 12,000 delegates to attend the NYD 2019 celebration.

Diaz said that the PRO-7 data was still expected to increase with the arrival of more delegates today.

Meanwhile, Batitoy said that the 6.5 magnitude earthquake that hit Eastern Samar on Tuesday failed to disrupt the arrival of delegates from the area and other parts of the Visayas.

Lingaw kaayo sila sa mga festival sites wala na sila kabantay nga naa linog. (They all enjoyed the different festival sites that they no longer noticed the earthquake),” said Batitoy.

Batitoy said that delegates from Eastern Samar and Catbalogan also seemed unaffected by the earthquake since no one has expressed the need to go back home to their families.

“Their faith is stronger,” said Batitoy.

Bishop Leopildo Jaocan, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Youth Commission (EYC) chairman, said that they will be offering prayers for those who were affected by the recent earthquakes that hit northern Luzon and Eastern Samar during the duration of NYD activities.

“We will pray for the safety of the country in the recent quakes,” said the prelate. /dcb

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TAGS: 2019, airport, arrival, Clark, delayed, delegates, Luzon, NYD

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