Fluvial procession test-run set today; Weatherman says sea will be rough, discourages small boats from joining sea parade

By Doris C. Bongcac, Michelle Joy L. Padayhag |January 16,2014 - 11:34 AM

Fluvial procession of the image of Sto. Niño (CDN FILE PHOTO/ LITO TECSON)

For Saturday’s religious processions by sea and land, be ready for rain and possible rough waters because of a low pressure area (LPA) affecting Cebu and other parts of the country, said weathermen.

The fluvial procession on Saturday morning will push through unless a storm develops, organizers in the Basilica del Sto. Niño announced.

A dry run of vessels for the fluvial procession is scheduled at 6 a.m to 8 a.m today to test the seaworthiness and sail-time of boats, including the “galleon” carrying the Sto. Niño image from Ouano Wharf to Pasil and to Pier 1.

Oscar Tabada, head of Pagasa Visayas, cautioned owners of small bancas against joining the fluvial procession because Saturday morning is expected to be rainy and windy.

Even if it rains, the fluvial procession can go but fishing vessels should not be included, he said.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama invited Tabada to his office yesterday for a weather update.

If heavy rain falls today, he said he would announce whether its necessary to suspend classes in public elementary and high schools on Friday.

The “traslacion” or ritual transfer of the Sto. Niño in a motorcade from the basilica to the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City is scheduled on Friday morning.

An overnight vigil will be made and a 4 a.m. Mass is scheduled at the national shrine on Saturday to prepare for the fluvial procession.The solemn foot procession of the miraculous image of the Sto. Nino starts at 1 p.m. Saturday. The Sinulog grand parade will start at 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Light rainshowers, will fall in Cebu Thursday night and can become moderate to heavy on Friday morning. He said light to moderate rains are expected on Saturday morning. Wave height of 0.5 meters to 1.2 meters is dangerous to small sea vessels.

“I can recommend but it will be up to the Coast Guard how to keep small boats from joining the fluvial procession,” he said.
Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) acting station commander Rodolfo Villajuan will make an announcement in due time.

“Since it is an LPA, the waves are small in the Mactan Channel. Let us just pray that there will be no tropical storm and there will be fine weather for a successful event since everyone has been preparing for this, he said.

As of 5 p.m. yesterday, 11 big vessels and 18 motorized bancas registered for the fluvial procession. Registration continues until Friday at 10 p.m.

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