CEBU, Philippines - Owing to anticipated unfavorable weather conditions, organizers of today’s Youth Day for the ongoing International Eucharistic Congress have decided to contain activities for the event within Lapu-Lapu City.
The Pilgrim Walk, for one, will no longer end at the Mandani Bay in the neighboring Mandaue City, as what was originally planned.
The overnight vigil will also take place at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City.
As decided by IEC organizers and Lapu-Lapu officials, participants will walk from the Hoops Dome to Humay-humay road, turn left to MVP Avenue using half of the lane of the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge, turn left to MLQ Pajo and straight toward G.Y. Dela Serna Street, turn left to S. Osmeña Street, and head back to the Hoops Dome.
An estimated 5,000 delegates from around the world will take part in the Youth Day.
In a statement, the IEC Social Communication Team said the security and safety of delegates are paramount.
“The security and safety of the delegates is of paramount consideration in the sudden change of venue of the IEC Youth Day on Thursday. The change is due to intermittent weather condition that Cebu has experienced since Monday and the organizers do not wish to risk the health of the delegates,” its statement reads.
In a separate statement, the developers of Mandani Bay said they support the decision of organizers.
Lapu-Lapu Mayor Paz Radaza assured the security system at the Hoops Dome, as well as in other places that delegates are expected to visit, is in place. She said concessionaires at the Mandani Bay have been accommodated at the Hoops Dome so portable toilets have also been installed to serve more people and back-up generators are on standby.
Among the highlights of the Youth Day are the talks of renowned Reverend Father Robert Barron and juggler and devout catholic Paul Ponce. Barron is known for his presentations on Catholic faith while Ponce, a juggler from Argentina, is reputed for his five-club routine and works with boomerang hats, as well as his evangelizing words.
Meanwhile, in Cebu City, Rev. Jonathan Rubin, IEC media relations officer, encouraged the public to take part in today’s “Visita Iglesia” or the Seven Churches Visitation, one of the offsite activities of the IEC.
Two processions will take place tonight in uptown and downtown Cebu City. The simultaneous processions are scheduled to commence at 7 p.m. but the roads affected will be closed two hours before the activity.
One procession will start at the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish Church passing through N. Escario Street and turn right to Gorordo Avenue to the Asilo dela Milagrosa Church.
From there, it will proceed to F. Sotto Street and turn right to Queens Road toward the Redemptorist Church. From there, it would traverse Roberto Aboitiz Street, turn right to Juana Osmeña Street, and turn right back to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish Church.
The procession downtown will start from the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and will pass through P. Burgos Street toward the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño.
It would then move toward D. Jakosalem Street and turn left to Legaspi Street before proceeding to Pelaez Street toward the Santo Rosario Parish Church. From there, the procession will follow P. del Rosario Street and turn left to D. Jakosalem Street towards The Archdiocesan Shrine of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Archbishop’s Palace.
From the shrine, the procession would go back down D. Jakosalem Street, turn left to P. Gomez Street, then turn right to P. Burgos Street to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. — /JMO (FREEMAN)