Basilica, Cathedral filled up in first day of Misa De Gallo 2020
CEBU CITY, Philippines —The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño were brimming with people attending the first day of the Misa de Gallo this year.
As early as 3:40 a.m., people began arriving at the Cathedral in the hopes of finding a good seat inside the church. The Cathedral limited the number of parishioners inside the church to 600 and another 600 on the church grounds.
The barangay enforcement officers (BEO) stationed at the gate told CDN Digital that many of the families attempted to bring children younger than 15 years old, a prohibition according to the quarantine guidelines of the city.
“Mangutana gyod mi labi na if tanaw namo bata ra gyod. Dili gyod namo pasudlon og below 15,” said the BEO, who refused to be named.
(We really ask if we think it’s a kid. We really won’t allow those below 15 years old to enter.)
The church gates were closed shortly after 4:30 a.m. The Waterfront Police Station recorded an estimated 1,200 individuals inside the church gates.
While many could no longer enter the Cathedral grounds, the police still managed to maintain social distancing for parishioners outside the Cathedral.
“Bahala og naa ra mi sa gawas basta nakatambong mi,” said 54-year-old Nanay Anita from Barangay Capitol Site.
(It doesn’t matter if we are only outside as long as we are able to attend the mass.)
Similarly, the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño played host to approximately 2,000 people inside and outside the grounds with respect to limited capacity and social distancing, as per Waterfront Police.
Unlike at the Cathedral where the outside crowd was organized, the people staying along the Osmeña Boulevard portion of the Basilica were less mindful of the social distancing despite repeated reminders from the police.
The light rain did not help as the public sought shelter under covered sidewalks.
After the mass, churchgoers dispersed from the Basilica in less than five minutes as there were no vendors waiting for them.
The entry and exit of the Basilica were also guarded by policemen and security staff to ensure the implementation of the health protocols.
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