ZAMBOANGA CITY - Devotees who will visit the Fort Pilar Shrine during the feast of Our Lady of the Pilar on Tuesday, Oct. 12, will be limited following a rise in the city's COVID-19 cases, an official said Sunday.
The city celebrates Hermosa Festival every October to honor its patron saint, Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar.
All six public masses during the feast day are canceled and only 30 devotees will be allowed to visit the shrine and light candles, said Kenneth Vincent Beldua of the city government.
Only the pontifical mass scheduled at 5 p.m. Tuesday will push through and will be livestreamed, he said.
The decision to cancel the public masses was made by the national Inter-Agency Task Force against Emerging Infectious Diseases, according to Beldua.
"While it is true that the Local Inter - Agency Task Force appealed to the NIATF to elevate the quarantine status of Zamboanga City to a higher classification in view of the unprecedented surge of COVID cases, we would like to emphasize that there was no request or recommendation at all to cancel the 6 public masses in the Shrine of Nuestra Sra. La Virgen del Pilar during her Feast Day on October 12," he said.
The city has 2,413 active virus cases as of Friday.
-- Report from Leizel Lacastesantos
FROM THE ARCHIVES