A mammoth crowd of 300,000 transformed the streets into a river of light as they joined yesterday dawn’s penitential walk which, for the first time, started in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, passing by Fuente Osmeña, all the way to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño.
Freeman/Facebook
300T devotees ‘Walk with Jesus’
May B. Miasco, Mae Clydyl L. Avila (The Freeman) - January 11, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — From vegetable vendors to company executives, straight to self-confessed gays, young to old, able to physically-impaired, the traditional Walk with Jesus that signals the start of Fiesta Señor in Cebu City drew thousands of devotees anew.

A mammoth crowd of 300,000 transformed the streets into a river of light as they joined yesterday dawn’s penitential walk which, for the first time, started in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, passing by Fuente Osmeña, all the way to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño.

Among them were Adelia Wamar, 62, and her husband, 65, who both consider the fiesta “incomplete” without the walk.

The vegetable vendors from San Fernando town first joined the walk three years ago, but their devotion to the Santo Niño actually sprang when they just got married about four decades back.

Whatever challenges came their way, the couple considers the Santo Niño as their refuge as they believe that the image grants favors to pious Catholics.

“We believe in its miracle. We trust that the Child Jesus listens to our prayers to be spared from calamities and be given good health, especially now that we are getting old,” Wamar said in Cebuano.

High school student June Rey Boltron, 21, of Barangay Carreta, was praying not only for himself and his family, but also for the society to be more accepting to everyone, regardless of their sexual preference.

Through fervent prayers, he said, his uncle’s kidney problem was healed.

But while most used their feet, others walked in wheels.

Polio victim Ariel Reynes, of Barangay Tejero, has been bound in a wheel chair since childhood, but the 47-year-old’s situation did not hinder him from showing his veneration.

Reynes, who was accompanied by his nephew, thought he could not join the walk this year after his old wheel chair was damaged a few months back.

Thankfully, he got a new one just last December.

Ironically, his prayers were not for himself. It was for the country to be safe from disasters and wars and conflicts, and for the series of killings to stop.

In his homily, Fr. Pacifico Nohara Jr., basilica rector and overall chairman of the 454th Fiesta Señor Committee, reflected on this year’s theme: “Sto. Niño: Guide of God's Children to Humility and Service.”

“So we can become true children of God, we need to have the values of humility and service. Let’s revisit our devotion to Santo Niño. We can strengthen our devotion’s foundation by always calling him through prayers,” Nohara addressed the thick crowd at the pilgrim center of the basilica.

Police Regional Office-7 Director Chief Supt. Debold Sinas assessed that the kick-off activities for the fiesta yesterday went on smoothly amid the huge turnout of about 300,000.

“They arrived on time and smooth ra pud. A good opening, so we are hoping to have a good ending,” Sinas said.

He said police will continue to follow their security plan until the Sinulog Grand Parade on January 20. — John Kendrick P. Ceciban (FREEMAN)

FIESTA SEñOR
Philstar
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with