CEBU City, Philippines – Briefly before Thursday daybreak, a sea of lighted candles irradiate Osmeña Boulevard as 300, 000 Catholic faithful joined the penitential ‘Walk with Jesus’ for this year’s Fiesta Señor.
Despite the sudden cloudburst, devotees of all ages participated the walk while carrying their own images of the Sto. Niño while some kids were already wearing their school uniforms, ready to go straight to their classes.
The more than two-kilometer solemn dawn foot procession kicked off at exactly 4 in the morning which signifies the start of the whole Fiesta Señor celebration.
Regardless of the continuous downpour of the rain, thousands of devotees in their umbrellas gathered in the Pilgrim Center to join the eucharistic celebration that followed shortly after the penitential walk.
The mass was presided by Rev. Fr. Pacifico C. Nohara, OSA, BMSN Prior and Rector.
In his homily, Fr. Nohara expressed his gratitude to the devotees that outbraved the rain to come and join celebrate the first novena mass for the Fiesta Señor.
“Through continued prayer and genuine act of reconciliation, we will be one in making this world a better place to live in. May the blessings of Señor. Sto. Niño de Cebu lead us to harmony and peace to all men, especially to us Filipinos.”
As a yearly tradition of the Basilica, the installation of the Hermano and Hermana Mayores followed right after the homily.
Turning over of the bastons, giving certificates of appreciation to the former Hermano – Hermana Mayores and the blessing of the new Hermano – Hermana Mayor took place respectively.
This year’s Hermano and Hermana Mayor is Mr. Alan Doromal and Mrs. Elvie Doromal.
The mass then proceeded with the singing of the Gozos as the devotees waved their hands in unison.
This is the 455th celebration of the Feast of the Holy Child, Señor Sto. Niño de Cebu with the theme, “Sto. Niño: Cause of our Unity and Charity.”
The carozza of the Holy Child’s image entered the hallowed grounds of the Basilica at past five in the morning and was welcomed with joy and praises by the devotees as gloomy grey skies slowly turned to blue.
BMSN compound was jampacked, with thousands more devotees spilling outside the streets of P. Burgos, and Osmeña Boulevard. /Kaiser Jan Fuentes and Melissa Arbuis, CNU BMSN Media Centre Volunteers