Fiesta Señor 2022 ‘peaceful’ with 39K devotees having visited the Basilica
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Long queues of around 39,000, devotees who wanted to enter Basilica to light candles and offer prayers to venerate the Señor Sto. Niño has been observed during today’s 457th Fiesta Señor adding that the celebration was generally peaceful.
Police Major Henry Obiso, ground commander and chief of the Waterfront Police Station, has assessed that this year’s fiesta celebration has been peaceful with them not recording any emergencies or major incidents since early this Sunday morning, January 16.
As of 5 p.m. on Sunday, Police Major Edgar Labe of the Cebu City Police Office said that they estimated around 38,974 devotees, which was expected to increase as the devotees continue to line up to pay homage to the Holy Child inside the pilgrim center.
Obiso, for his part, said that the only concern that they had during today’s celebration was in managing the long queues of people.
To address this, that the police recommended stopping the lighting of candles inside the basilica and that the devotees would just proceed with praying and waving at the Holy Child. This was implemented starting 4 p.m. today, which resulted into the smooth flow of entry in the Basilica of the devotees.
“Nakita nato nga nag abot-abot ang mga devotees…atoa dayon nga na address in collaboration sa simbahan ug diri sa security. Dili na nato [ma track], daghan gyud, ganina almost 20,000, karon flowing naman, sobra gyud ni sya sa 20mil,”Obiso said.
(We observed that several devotees still arrive…we immediately addressed this in collaboration with the church personnel and the security. We could no longer track the number of devotees. There are a lot. Earlier, we had almost 20,000. At this moment, it’s already flowing, we expect that it will be more than 20,000).
With around 150 policemen assigned there, Obiso said that the majority of the devotees complied with the existing health protocols, including the wearing of face masks.
Obiso further added that no minors and elderly, who are 65 years old and above, were allowed to enter the Pilgrim Center. Upon entry, each was asked for their vaccination cards as part of the safety measures since the city is placed under Alert Level 3.
Obiso also said that police here continue to monitor the area until the closing of the Basilica which is expected at around 9 or 10 p.m.
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