MANILA – The Pagoda Festival in Bocaue, Bulacan will be celebrated again over two decades after experiencing a tragic incident.
In 1993, 226 persons drowned as a result of the pagoda’s sinking.
As a result, the celebration of the festival was halted for over two decades.
According to festival facilitator Ruben Mercado, the pagoda that will be used in this year’s festival has the capacity to carry around 600 people.
However, he said the festival organizers have already learned from the past so they will limit the people who will be on board.
"Lilimitahan lamang namin sa 250 katao ang maaaring makasakay sa pagoda. Over loaded noong 1993 nang lumubog ang pagoda," he said.
In order to ensure its safety, the construction of the pagoda is almost over a week before the festival.
The organizers will also insist that those who will ride the pagoda this year will wear life vests.
Meanwhile, medical support teams will follow the pagoda aboard small boats in order to ensure quick response should tragedy strike again.
Before the festival officially opens, a mass will be held in the same spot where this year’s pagoda was constructed and will be blessed by a priest.
The festival in Bocaue will end on July 6. – Report from Abner Mercado, ABS-CBN News