Thanksgiving mass offered for success of Sinulog 2014
Jessa Agua, Gregg Rubio (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - A thanksgiving mass capping the successful celebration of Sinulog 2014 was held yesterday at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño Pilgrim Center.

This was sponsored by the festival's working committee from the Cebu City Government.

Leading the City Hall officials in attending the mass were Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, and Sinulog Foundation Incorporated (SFI) executive director Ricky Ballesteros.

Rama said it is only "fitting" to conclude the festivities with a holy mass.

"We should always remember that as usual and especially after the earthquake and Yolanda, our Sinulog 2014 is a thanksgiving as to us not being into suffering so much and at the same time (for the) enhancement of faith. We've been able to witness it from the time we had the Walk with Jesus until today. We can see how awesome (it is) and we call it overwhelming, much less miraculous," Rama told The Freeman.

Also present during the Eucharistic celebration were city hall department heads including Department of Manpower Development and Placement chief Suzanne Ardosa, Department of Public Services head Rolando Ardosa, park administration Arleigh Gesta, and Public Information and Protocol Offices supervisor Elmer Labella.

Cebu City Police Office director Senior Superintendent Noli Romana was present.

Rama commended the police force for a "job well done" in ensuring peace and order amid the 3.5 million crowd that joined the celebration this year.

"The police have shown their presence. And I'd like also to express our thanks to PNP 7 regional director Danilo Constantino for all their support in all the activities both for the government and the church, for a job well done. Congratulations to all of them," Rama added.

Meanwhile, the mayor does not see anything wrong with the street parties that drew the crowd, majority the younger generation, to the streets of the city last Sunday.

"You don't have a festival without a party. And we were young before. That's what we wish to do. For as long as they will just have to be sober. And they will go home and they will avoid crimes committed, misdemeanor so that the whole celebration will be remembered to be a growing one," Rama explained.

A debriefing session with all the working committees involved in the Sinulog 2014 celebration will be scheduled at the City Hall and will also be preceded by a Holy Mass.

Further, the Central Command (Centcom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recognized and acknowledged the different troops, both from the police and the military, for the cooperation and collaboration in maintaining the peace and order during the Sinulog festival.

Centcom chief, Maj. Gen. John S. Bonafos, with the military commanders from Regions 6, 7 and 8 highlighted this during the yearly conference held at Centcom's De Goma Hall yesterday.

At least 510 personnel from the 2nd Air Division, Naval Forces Central (Navforcen), the 53rd Engineer Brigade and 5th Special Forces Company were deployed on Sunday.

A team from the Explosive Ordnance Division, a K9 unit, and covert teams of the Quick Reaction Force were also situated in strategic areas in Cebu City, particularly at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).— (FREEMAN)

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