Cebu officials cancel Sinulog activities due to COVID-19 pandemic

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 10 2020 03:59 AM

Parades and processions won't be seen during the 456th Fiesta Señor Celebration this coming January due to the coronavirus outbreak in the Philippines.

MANILA - Local government and church officials of Cebu City have canceled the popular Sinulog activities in January due to the lingering threat of the coronavirus pandemic in the Philippines.

Officials of Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebú, local government, Interagency Task Force (IATF), Cebu City Police Office and the city committee of public order released a joint advisory Monday stating that activities of the 456th Fiesta Señor Celebration will not be observed on Jan. 17.

These include:

  • Penitential walk with Jesus on the opening salvo
  • Penitential walk with Mary on the last day of the novena
  • Traslacion of the images of the Santo Niño and our Lady of Guadalupe from Cebu City to Mandaue City, and from Mandaue City to Lapu-Lapu City
  • Fluvial procession and the reenactment of the first baptism, planting of the cross, and first wedding
  • Solemn foot procession
  • Proposed Cebu provincial pilgrimages

"Moreover, there will be no alternative mobility around the city such as motorcades as a substitute for the aforementioned religious activities," the advisory read.

Officials said Augustinian friars and the committee in charge of organizing the festivities will reschedule the activities, which will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the the Santo Niño image in Cebu, to April 2021.

"However, the schedule of the novena this year will begin on January 8, 2021, Friday. Please refer to the Official Statement of the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño for the schedule," the advisory read.

"Let us keep the Holy Child in our hearts and ask for His everlasting compassion as we heal as one."

The advisory was signed by Basilica Minore del Santo Niño rector Fr. Pacifico Nohara Jr. OSA, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, IATF-Cebu chief implementer Joel Garganera, Cebu City police director Josefino Ligan and city public order chair Phillip Zafra.

The Manila City government last month also canceled the grand procession of the life-sized image of the Black Nazarene for January 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will be the first time that the annual Traslacion, which draws millions of devotees every year, has been canceled.

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