ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR FLUVIAL PROCESSION OF STO. NIÑO IMAGE
SET FOR FLUVIAL. The centuries-old image of Señor Santo Niño de Cebu is placed in pick-up vehicle for a Traslacion on Friday to the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Joseph, before it will be brought to Muelle Osmeña wharf in Lapu-Lapu City for the traditional Fluvial Procession on Saturday (Jan. 19, 2019). (Photo courtesy of Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu Media Center/Giselle Marie Regner)
CEBU CITY -- At least 82 vessels registered to take part in Saturday’s traditional Fluvial Procession of the centuries-old image of Señor Santo Niño de Cebu, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said on Friday.
“Last year, we only had 56 vessels that registered in our office to participate in the fluvial procession. The list reached 82 this year because we advised them (vessel owners) to register early,” PCG-7 (Central Visayas) spokesperson, Lt. Michael Encina, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Encina said the fluvial procession will start at 4 a.m. after a Holy Mass at the Virgen dela Regla parish church in Lapu-Lapu City.
The images of the Sto. Niño and the Our Lady of Guadalupe will be carried by a Galleon, a private vessel owned by Roble Shipping Corp., at the wharf of Muelle Osmeña located some 200 meters from the church.
The fluvial procession will pass through the Mactan Channel and will end at Pier 1 where the Sto. Niño image will disembark the Galleon. This will be followed by a procession back to the Basilica. “So far, so good. It will be better if the weather is good,” Encina said.
The morning weather forecast of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration showed a low-pressure area 1,390 km. east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
Encina, however, said they have placed security measures for the event, with 46 assets that include aluminum and rubber and patrol boats from the Coast Guard, Philippine National Police Maritime Group, Philippine Navy, and Bantay Dagat task force. “We have a composite team, which will participate in the fluvial procession as sea marshals,” he said.
The Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office will also deploy ambulances at Pier 1 to 4, while the PCG auxiliary members will help the passengers in disembarking at Pier 1.
Cebu City Police Office Director Royina Garma said police personnel are also on standby for the fluvial procession in the morning and the solemn procession in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, thousands of devotees flocked to the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City, where the images of the Señor Santo Niño de Cebu and the Our Lady of Guadaupe are enshrined after the annual traditional Traslacion on Friday.
Augustinian friars in the morning led the devotees in a motorcade that brought the holy images to the church in Mandaue City, in preparation for Saturday’s fluvial procession.
Fr. Pacifico Nohara said the holy images were brought to the church in Mandaue after the Novena Mass celebrated by Fr. Manuel Tan, who also led thousands of devotees in a penitential procession dubbed as “Walk with Mary” that began Friday dawn at the Guadalupe Parish Church. It ended at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.
Upon arrival of the Sto. Niño at the Mandaue church at 8:45 a.m., the devotees participated in a Holy Mass presided by St. Joseph’s parish priest, Msgr. Daniel Sanico, who called on devotees who come to the church for ”panghalok” (kissing of the image), to observe the schedule of Masses.
The priest said the “panghalok” would be stopped once a Mass starts. (PNA)
Photo courtesy of Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu Media Center/Giselle Marie Regner/PNA