MANILA – The processions to celebrate the 138th Divino Rostro and 310th Our Lady of Peñafrancia festivities in Naga City in September are canceled.
“[We decided to} Cancel this year’s holding of Processions: Traslación, Fluvial, Dawn, Perdon, Harubay and any procession whatsoever,” a joint declaration of the Archdiocese of Caceres and the Naga City Government issued on Saturday said.
The statement was signed by Archbishop Rolando Tirana and Naga City Mayor Nelson Legacion.
The organizers have decided to lessen the festivities of the annual event in response to the action of the government to protect the people from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“[We are] Mindful of the present state of national public health emergency due to the deadly Covid-19 global pandemic requiring physical or social distancing and other measures to avoid infection and contamination,” their statement read.
“[We are] Determined to secure the free exercise and expression of religion, faith, and devotion while ensuring adequate preventive measures against the spread of Covid-19 for the common good, public health, and community welfare,” it said.
The officials also asked the devotees to celebrate the feasts in their homes or localities.
They also decided to “cancel all civic and commercial activities such as the Voyadores Festival, Civic and military parades, trade fairs, exhibits, competitions, concerts, and all other mass gatherings.”
They also discouraged the “kissing and touching of Ina’s miraculous images enshrined at the Peñafrancia Basilica and other churches, including the imposition of her Manto for healing and consolation.”
The celebration of the annual festivities of the Divino Rostro is from September 2 to 11 and Ina will be from September 11 to 20. Ferdinand Patinio /PNA – northboundasia.com