There will be no processions for the holy child, Señor Santo Niño, this year due to quarantine restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, priests at the Basilica Minore Del Santo Niño in Cebu City announced Wednesday.
“Even if we know some of the people want to see the holy child, we can’t do that this year, “ the Basilica’s rector, Fr. Pacifico Nohara, explained in the vernacular.
The yearly Fiesta Señor, which also coincides with the Sinulog, is a celebration of the feast of child Jesus, or the Santo Niño.
It gathers millions of churchgoers and devotees yearly.
“But we will still have the daily Novena Masses,” Nohara added, noting that only a thousand people would be allowed in the venue.
There will be markers in the area where people should sit and stay during the Masses.
All those planning to attend the Novena Masses will be required to wear face masks and face shields, and to bring their own umbrella, he said. Quarantine passes and IDs for workers will also be required upon entrance.
The church is open from 3 a.m. until 11 p.m. Before the pandemic, Basilica Minore Del Santo Niño was open 24 hours as the fiesta drew near.
Some of the activities cancelled include the “Walk for Jesus,” “Walk for Mary” and the penitential solemn foot procession.
Watching the livestream of Masses is encouraged, Cebu City Councilor Philip Zafra said.
“Don’t push it to attend the Masses physically, just stay at home,” said Zafra. — Report from Annie Perez