Palma: Return of Lenten activities in Cebu should see return of pilgrims, tourists
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said that the return of Lenten activities in Cebu would also bring back pilgrims and tourism industry.
The archbishop said Cebu boasts of many religious sites such as churches and pilgrimage destinations where people would flock to during the Holy Week.
He expects that all Holy Week activities, with the exception of Andas, will finally bring back pilgrims and tourists to Cebu.
“Salamat sa Diyos kay imong tanawon sa una limited ra kaayo. Karon 75 percent na ang capacity sa atong celebration. Pagsimba sa simabahan, pagnovena, procession. This is a response to prayers of the people,” Palma said.
(Thanks to God because you look at things before it was so limited. Now, we have 75 percent for our capacity in our celebration. Going to church, novena, procession. This is in response to prayers of the people.)
“There are many places that religious tourism has become the longing of people. Cebu has many wonderful places and opportunities where people can experience religious tourism,” said the prelate.
The Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño in Cebu City, the Shrine of Nuestra Señora Dela Regla in Lapu-Lapu City, the Capelinha of Fatima in San Remigio, and many other churches that should expect many visitors.
Boljoon will also soon see the pontifical coronation of the their Birhen sa Boljoon, another event that may spike the interest of tourists or pilgrims.
Cebu’s Lenten activities are also widely known in the country including the Sugat Kabanhawan Festival of Minglanilla and Bantayan Island’s unique celebration of the Holy Week as the lone place in the world where people can eat meat during fasting.
These celebration of the Holy Week in Cebu is another chance for tourists and pilgrims to visit the island.
The archdiocese have already released guidelines for the celebration of the Holy Week and Easter activities with increased capacity and the allowing of most activities for these special days.
Palma reminded parish priests to self-regulate their flock during Lent and implement necessary measures to ensure the public safety of the churchgoers and participants.
One such concern is the kissing or venerating of the Holy Cross on Good Friday.
The prelate urged parish priests to decide for themselves how this would be conducted with the safety of the faithful as the utmost priority.
It may be advised that they only allow a short veneration such as touching the cross, but no kissing will be allowed.
The archbishop leaves to each parish how to conduct these sacred rituals in a safe manner.
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