Organizers 90% ready for 458th Fiesta Señor celebration

ORGANIZERS of the 458th Fiesta Señor are now 90 percent ready, as all religious activities for the celebration next year are expected to be back to their pre-pandemic form.

The Augustinian friars also announced during a press conference Tuesday, November 15, 2022, that the number of devotees during novena masses, foot procession, and other activities will not be limited amid the ongoing threats of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

The organizers, however, still encouraged devotees to wear their face masks inside the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño as a safety precaution.

Fr. John Miranda, director for safety and security of the Fiesta Señor, said they will also observe the crowd during Misa de Gallo in December this year for additional inputs that can be used in handling the influx of people inside the Basilica.

"We will observe sa mga entrances and the crowd nga ni simba and after some evaluations, we will implement that one during our coordination meeting with the security sector," said Miranda.

Cebu City Police Office Director Ireneo Dalogdog said they will deploy 4,953 police personnel for the entire celebration of the Fiesta Señor but they will still request for an additional 3,000 augmentation officers.

Police Colonel Antonietto Cañete, chief of the Regional Community Affairs Development Division, also hinted at the possibility of implementing a signal shutdown as a security measure during large gatherings, such as the foot and seaborne processions.

The Fiesta Señor will kick off with the Penitential Walk with Jesus from Fuente Osmeña Circle to the Basilica on January 5, 2023.

There will be 11 novena masses every day at the Basilica's pilgrim center starting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (IRT)