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Cebu News

Peaceful Holy Week

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  No untoward or disruptive incident was recorded during the observance of Holy Week in Cebu City even with the return of physical activities, officials of the city said.

“I have not been receiving anything untoward (incident),” said Mayor Michael Rama.

“Overall, it was a peaceful and successful celebration of the Lenten season… it’s been two years that we were not able to celebrate our Holy Week tradition. Ang bendita sa lukay, ang procession, ang Visita Iglesia… overall, maayo kaayo, labi na sa pagtuman sa atong health protocols,” said Councilor Joel Garganera, head of the city’s Emergency Operations Center.

The city made sure safety protocols were in place for the physical staging of ‘Buhing Kalbaryo’ on Good Friday. It was the first time that the play was carried out physically since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

‘Buhing Kalbaryo’ depicts the Passion of Christ.

In deciding to allow a physical play, Rama, its founder, took into consideration the consistent low number of active COVID-19 in the city and the number of residents already vaccinated against the virus.

Rama was present at the event at the San Nicolas Church grounds.

Meanwhile, Garganera said that marketgoers at the Carbon Public Market and other markets in the city were orderly and followed safety protocols unlike at the start of the pandemic in 2020 when physical distancing, for one, was barely present.

In a social media post that went viral, the Carbon market was flooded with people wanting to buy ingredients for binignit, a popular local delicacy during Holy Week.

“Gani, hapsay kaayo ang pagpangompra sa mga sagol sa binignit diha sa Carbon ug sa mga merkado sukwahi sa niaging mga tuig. Kaning tanan nahimong posible tungod kay kita nagkahiusa sa pagtuman sa mga lagda,” Garganera said.

COVID-19

Since easing more and more restrictions this year, the city has emphasized the concept of ‘shared responsibility’ in dealing with the pandemic.

Along with this, Garganera emphasized anew that everyone must continue to stay vigilant even with the low COVID numbers in the city.

“Gamay na tuod ang atong kaso sa COVID sa atong ciudad apan wala na nagpasabot nga si COVID wala na… naa gihapon, busa padayon gihapon ta pagtuman aron maluwas ta sa dili madugay ning maong pandemya,” he said.

Rama said big gatherings are now inevitable as the city remains under Alert Level 1.

“For as long as everybody is mindful, mindful of the fact about amping, shared responsibility, and they will be seeing optimistically because we cannot anymore be stopped,” said Rama.

He also acknowledges the physical gatherings as candidates campaign for the May 9 elections.

“Election fever is up… and when the election is up, rally here and there, gathering. We should continue praying that nothing like a surge will come in the days to come… otherwise, we will be disrupting a very sacred right, and that is the right to vote,” Rama said.

He assured that the city continues to monitor its COVID situation.

“We’ve never stopped… really looking forward, the CCMC, it already has the notice to proceed (for its completion), the Moses Isolation Facility(Cebu City Quarantine Center), is still there, the City Health Department and vaccination continues… ang EOC, wala na sila mawa sa ilang lang mandate and vaccination has never stopped,” Rama said.

Rama said the city is looking at a more aggressive approach to bringing more and more people to get booster shots for longer protection against COVID-19.

Reflect

A devout Catholic, Rama called on residents to reflect on the sacrifices Jesus made for humanity.

“Dili nato kalimtan, ka-usa ra moagi ang Semana Santa, busa, tagsa-tagsa nato atong ipakita ug tagaan nato ug pamalandong ang kinabuhi. Hinaot unta sa pagpahinundom sa tanan nga ang Ginoo… nagpakamatay aron mabanhaw ug kita tana usab matagaan ug kaluwasan sa atong kasal-anan,” Rama said.

Elmer Labella, executive producer of the ‘Buhing Kalbaryo,’ echoed the call.

“Atong giawhag ang atong mga kaigsoonang Katoliko nga mamalandong kita karong adlawa. Mao na ang city government adunay Siyete Palabras, Sinakulo, ug ang Station of the Cross nga gihimo karong ‘Buhing Kalbaryo’,” he said on Good Friday.  -  Mary Ruth R. Malinao, Decemay P. Padilla, JMO (FREEMAN)

HOLY WEEK

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