Lapu-Lapu City mayor ‘moderates’ religious festivities to maintain zero-Covid status

Lapu-Lapu City mayor ‘moderates’ religious festivities to maintain zero-Covid status

Nuesta Señora de la Regla” (Lady of the Rule)

By Junex Doronio

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu — Stressing that the city cannot afford to be complacent and would like to maintain its zero Covid-19 status, Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan has advised his constituents to stay at home and just wait on Saturday, November 7, for the motorcade bearing the image of their patron saint “Nuesta Señora de la Regla” (Lady of the Rule) to pass by its designated route.

“We cannot be complacent. The city must retain its zero-case status for the entire month,” Chan stressed.

This historic city in Cebu province recorded zero new cases of novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on October 10, according to data released by the Department of Health Central Visayas.

Chan said the motorcade has replaced the traditional fluvial procession and the Walk with Mary foot procession for this year’ fiesta.

Devotees were prohibited from following the motorcade, only 10 vehicles, belonging to the parish and city officials, were allowed to join the motorcade.

In addition, those witnessing the motorcade along the roadside were told to observe minimum health protocol including wearing of face masks and social distancing.

The Lapu-Lapu City government has cancelled all nightly activities related to the annual fiesta on Nov. 21 as a precaution against the resurgence of Covid-19 in the city.

Devotees traditionally start the fiesta in honor of their patron saint Nuesta Señora de la Regla or Lady of the Rule every Nov. 7 and this year it kicked off with a motorcade around the city.

Chan said they decided on November 4 to cancel all nightly activities upon the decision of the church administrators of the National Shrine of our Lady of the Rule in Barangay Poblacion.

He added that despite his constant warning to his constituents to strictly observe social distancing, the health safety protocol especially during religious occasions could be possibly breached.

It was learned that the decision was supported by Fr. Berbard Corpuz, the parish priest of the National Shrine of our Lady of the Rule; and the mayor’s wife Cindi King-Chan, chairperson of the City’s Tourism, Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission.

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