Youths to converge in Cebu for IEC event

Kristine B. Quintas/JMD (The Freeman) - December 11, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Thousands of youths from all over the country will gather in Cebu next year for the 51st Inter-national Eucharistic Congress Youth Day, which aims to renew and develop their faith in Jesus through the Eucharist.

Around 5,000 youths from different dioceses in the country are expected to join the event scheduled on January 28 next year in Lapu-Lapu City.

The Youth Day is a sidelight of the 51st IEC which will take place mostly in Cebu City between January 24 to 31 next year.

Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Villarojo said around 1,700 local youth delegates have already registered for the event.

He added that some of the 8,500 registered delegates for this year’s IEC may also attend the youth congress.

According to Villarojo, the highlights of the congress 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, has been popular for his five-club routine and works with boomerang hats, as well as his evangelizing words.

Aside from inspirational speeches, three main events have been set, including the parish-based activities (barrio fiesta and sharing); Catechesis in Hoopsdome in Barangay Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City; and overnight vigil at Mandani Bay in Mandaue City.

The delegates will arrive on January 27. On the day of their arrival, six parishes in Opon, Marigondon, Pajac, Mactan and Babag in Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova town will each host a barrio fiesta-themed welcome dinner for the participants.

In line with the youth vigil, church officials and the Mandani Bay executives yesterday inked a memorandum of agreement to use the latter’s two-hectare property for the IEC Youth Day vigil on January 28.

Mandani Bay, a pre-mium mixed-use joint venture project of Hong Kong Land and Taft Properties, occupies a waterfront site of approximately 20 hectares.

Theodore Gilbert Ang, project director of Mandani Bay, said they are clearing the 20-hectare property in preparation for the event.

“If registration gets bigger and the number of delegates expands to 5,000, we can always also expand the area for the event,” he said.

Expecting a throng of delegates, Villarojo said authorities will use the APEC security template.

He added that both the local government units of the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue committed to augment the security personnel.

Christopher Narciso, president and chief executive officer of Taft Properties, said Mandani Bay will also provide additional private security for the venue.

Reverend Father Kit Sestoso said the congress is open for all students and youths in all dioceses. Those as young as 16 years old may join the congress.

He announced that registration is extended until December 16, the first day of the nine-day Catholic novena Masses and the commemoration of the National Youth Day. Registration fee is P500.

Permit to earth-ball

Department of Environment and Natural Office-7 director Isabelo Montejo has requested the central office for clearance to issue permit to earth-ball trees of different species planted along Pope John Paul II Avenue.

The earth-balling will affect 13 trees—nine fire trees and four Mahogany trees. Ten of the 13 trees measure 30 centimeters in diameter. The rest are about 43 to 60 centimeters in diameter.

Montejo made the clearance following the Cebu City Parks and Playground Commission’s compliance of requirements.

The requirements included letters from  lawyer  Rey Gealon of Cebu City Transportation Office and Marc Canton of the Movement for Livable Cebu; endorsement from DPWH and certification from Barangay Luz interposing no objection; minutes of meetings and attendance sheets during consultations on September 3, October 6 and October 20; photos of trees to be balled out, meetings and tree planting activity.

CCPPC chairman Librado Macaraya Jr. wrote to DENR on November 16, informing Forester Raul Pasoc that they already complied with the requirements. — (FREEMAN)

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