Devotees welcome return of Sto. Niño fluvial procession in Cebu City

By: - January 14, 2023

CEBU CITY, Philippines – As early as 5 a.m. on Saturday, January 14, 2023, Jocelyn Arches and her two kids rose from their beds to travel to downtown Cebu City.

On the sidewalk of Osmeña Boulevard, they waited for the images of the Snr. Sto. Niño de Cebu and Our Lady of Guadalupe to pass by, a family tradition that was paused for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Lipay gyud kaayo mi,” Arches said when asked how she felt to finally join in the physical activities for the Fiesta Señor. 

Her daughter, Eva Steffi, even carried a small image of the Holy Child and raise it every time the crowd would shout “Pit Señor!”

“Lahi ra gyud ang kanang makasaksi, makaapil,” Arches added.

Hundreds of faithfuls, some carrying the statues of the Holy Child, went to watch the return of the Fluvial Procession on Saturday.

Over 400 sea vessels participated in the return of the fluvial procession, wherein the images of Snr. Sto. Niño and Our Lady of Guadalupe sailed through the Mactan Channel after spending a night at the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City and later at the Nuestra Señora de Regla – Parish National Shrine in Lapu-Lapu City for the 458th Fiesta Señor.

The image of Sto. Niño is carried at the BRP Cabra from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) during the fluvial procession on Saturday, January 14, 2023. | Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu photo

The galleon for this year’s Fiesta Señor was BRP Cabra from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, who led the group that greeted the images’ arrival at Pier 1, Cebu City, said they were happy to see the festivities return. 

The prelate, in a brief interview with reporters, added that they we’re glad the Heavens granted devotees good weather to witness the fluvial once again. 

“This morning ni arrive (ang imahe sa Snr. Sto. Niño)… Dili balod (and dagat). Salamat sa Diyos ug love kita ni Mama Mary and Lord,” Palma said.

fluvial procession return

The fluvial procession for the 358th Fiesta Señor at the Mactan Channel. | Ralph Gurango

Around 400-500 vessels participated in this year’s return of the fluvial procession. 



Coast guard’s BRP CABRA is this year’s official galleon for fluvial procession

Fluvial Procession to return during Fiesta Señor 2023 – Zafra

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