FAITH Life! Sinulog 2024

SINULOG 2024: What is the Devotee City?

Sinulog 2024 Devotee City

In this 2017 photo, a child occupant is seen walking around the Devotee City site.

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Devotees of Señor Santo Niño are widely recognized for their deep religious convictions and practices, particularly during the annual Sinulog Festival in Cebu, held every January.

With the annual influx of devotees to Cebu City for the Sinulog Festival and the attendance of novena masses for the Fiesta Señor, the city government has established “Devotee City,”a dedicated shelter providing complimentary accommodations for the numerous pilgrims and devotees of Señor Santo Niño.

READ MORE: Updated foot procession routes for Fiesta Señor 2024 bared

What is Devotee City?

The city government established the Devotee City to foster the devotees from outside Cebu and from other parts of the province who will be attending the Fiesta Señor.

“Gimugna kini (Devotee City) sa atong kagamhanan sa syudad sa Sugbo to cater sa atong mga kaigsuonan ngadto sa probinsya nga muanhi diri, mga devotees nga gikan sa nagkalaing lungsod,” said Cebu City Councilor Pancrasio Esparis, chairman of the committee for the Devotee City.

READ MORE: LOOK: Schedule of Novena Masses of Fiesta Señor 2024

(This was made by the government of Cebu City to cater to those from the provinces who come here, the devotees from other towns.)

Launched in 1996, the city government took this initiative after they observed that a shelter was needed for pilgrims from outside Cebu City.

Although the initiative could not cater to all of the devotees because of its limitations, Esparis said that it is still a good thing that the government is able to provide shelter for some of the devotees.

Where is the Devotee City located?

The Devotee City, which is usually made of container vans, has been erected in different areas in the past years.

READ MORE: LIST: Sinulog 2024 schedule of activities

In the previous year, the Devotee City was located in the Pigafetta area in Fort San Pedro.

For Sinulog 2024, the Devotee City will be located in front of the Cebu Central Post Office along Pigafetta Road, Cebu City. It is within Plaza Independencia and beside the famous Fort San Pedro.

Departments involved

To ensure the success and safety of the pilgrims in this program, more than 10 departments in the city government are dedicated to catering to their needs.

Esparis’ office will lead the overall committee for the Devotee City, overseeing the coordination of various departments and ensuring seamless operations.

The City Health Department is entrusted with monitoring the health of the devotees, while the Department of Social Welfare and Services is tasked with optimizing manpower to provide comprehensive support to the pilgrims.

In terms of security and safety, the Probe, Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT), and Cebu City Police Office are collectively responsible for safeguarding the well-being of the devotees.

For information and documentation purposes, the Public Information Office is diligently at work. Meanwhile, the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office is actively engaged in disaster preparedness efforts.

Handling the traffic logistics is the responsibility of the Cebu City Transportation Office (Road Management Authority).

Furthermore, the Department of Manpower Development and Placement is overseeing the registration process, with the assistance of the Management Information and Computer Services for the issuance of identification cards.

In the realm of beautification, Esparis’ office has assigned the Department of Public Services, particularly for cleaning and maintenance tasks, in close coordination with the Cebu Environmental Sanitation and Enforcement Team.

Key features

The shelters for the Devotee City are container vans.

For this year, a total of 30 container vans have been made available, providing accommodation for up to 500 pilgrims. Last year, it only had 20 container vans and accommodated only 300 pilgrims.

Esparis said the 30 container vans were made possible with the help of Cokaliong Shipping Lines.

Each container van is equipped with facilities aimed at ensuring the comfort and well-being of the devotees. Amenities include showers for pilgrims to freshen up and dedicated comfort rooms.

How to register for the Devotee City?

Registration for the program is provided free of charge for those wishing to avail themselves of the Devotee City services.

Participants are only required to present bus tickets or shipping line tickets, serving as proof of their travel from outside Cebu City to partake in the Sinulog 2024  festivities dedicated to the feast of Señor Santo Niño.

Esparis said that a ‘no ID, no entry’ policy is one of their house rules.

The other house rules are the following:

No smoking
No liquors
No sharp objects/weapons
No spitting in the area

First come, first served

On January 16, the designated committee will commence the “ground preparation” by installing the 30 container vans at the designated location.

Subsequently, the official launch is scheduled for January 19, Friday. A mass will mark the commencement of the event, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Devotee City will be available to accommodate pilgrims from January 19 to 21, facilitating their stay until the day of the feast.

“Usa lang sad ang atong ipahibawo nga first come, first served basis ni siya kay dili man gyud ta maka accommodate sa tanan natong mga kaigsuonan,” Esparis said.

(One thing we will remind devotees is that this is on a first come, first served basis because we really cannot accommodate all devotees.)

Intending to accommodate all devotees who may lack the financial means to support their accommodation, Esparis emphasized that the city government has spared no effort in ensuring that the needs of every devotee are met.




TAGS: devotee city, Sinulog 2024
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