Traslacion security pays off
Camille Pateres (The Freeman) - January 19, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Learning from their Walk with Jesus experience, police implemented new security measures to ensure that yesterday’s Walk with Mary and Traslacion would go without hitches.


And it paid off.

Cebu City Police Office director, Senior Supt. Royina Garma, estimated the Walk with Mary crowd to have reached about 400,000, or about a third more than the Walk with Jesus turnout on January 10.

Despite the bigger crowd, she said, the walk yesterday was more organized.

“I would consider the Walk with Mary more organized than Walk with Jesus, maybe because we have learned our lessons and we adjusted our security plan and deployment,” said Garma.

Police barricaded the center islands on Osmeña Boulevard to prevent devotees from moving to the other lane and also cleared the overpasses along the route.

An additional 200 policemen were also deployed in strategic points along the route.

A mobile patrol group led the carroza of the Our Lady of Guadalupe to ensure that the road was clear, prompting the walk to end at 5:01 a.m., which was earlier than the expected 6 a.m.

In his homily at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, diocesan priest Manuel Tan reminded Catholics to avoid corrupt practices as they hinder people from showing the virtues of humility and service in reflection on this year’s Fiesta Señor theme, “Sto. Niño: Guide of God's children to humility.”

Tan emphasized the significant role of parents and guardians in fighting corrupt acts by training them early at home.

“We have to empty our hearts of material desires. But what does one get for filling their hearts with God's grace? One's heart is rich with God, they are willing to live by the virtues of God and share them to others, thereby, making them non-corrupt individuals,” he said.

After the Mass, the images of Sto. Niño and Our Lady of Guadalupe were then mounted on their respective cars for a convoy to Mandaue City for the Traslacion, or the meeting of the three members of the Holy Family.

Along the motorcade’s route, devotees greeted the images with symbols and expressions of faith, waving handkerchiefs and hands, offering dances, and saying their prayers.

In Subangdaku, Mandaue City, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña turned over the image of the Sto. Niño to Mandaue City Mayor Gabriel Luis Quisumbing.

The images of the Holy Family arrived at the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City at 8:39 a.m. yesterday and will be up for public viewing before they will be taken to a fluvial procession today, returning to the basilica in Cebu City. — John Kendrick P. Ceciban, USJ-R Intern, May B. Miasco, JMD (FREEMAN)

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