SEVERAL roads will be closed in Lapu-Lapu City on Friday night, Jan. 17, 2020—to clear the path for the procession of the Sto. Niño icon from a Mandaue City church to the Virgen dela Regla National Shrine in the city on Saturday, Jan. 18.
The City Traffic Management System (CTMS) announced that the road closures will start at 10 p.m. Friday. At the same time, the first Mactan-Mandaue Bridge will also be closed to traffic.
On pre-dawn Saturday, the Sto. Niño icon will be transferred from St. Joseph Parish in Mandaue City to the Virgen dela Regla National Shrine in Barangay Poblacion, Lapu-Lapu City.
The Sto. Niño icon is expected to arrive at the foot of the bridge on the Lapu-Lapu City side past midnight or around 1 a.m. Saturday, according to Oscar Pineda, the city information officer.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan will receive the Sto. Niño from Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes. This event is the prelude to the fluvial or seaborne procession in the Mactan Channel on the same day.
Pineda said schedules must be followed so the seaborne procession could start at 6 a.m.
Devotees are not allowed to bring balloons and stage fireworks displays along the route of the procession towards the Virgen dela Regla National Shrine, and towards Naval Forces Central (Navforcen) base in Barangay Canjulao—the jump-off point of the seaborne procession.
During the Sto. Niño icon’s stay at the Virgen dela Regla church, devotees would be allowed to touch and kiss the image from 2:30 a.m. until 3:45 a.m.
At 4 a.m., a Mass will be heard. Then the motorcade towards the Navforcen headquarters will follow, and the Sto. Niño icon is expected to arrive in the naval base at 5:45 a.m.
The organizers assured that the seaborne procession will start at 6 a.m.
In Lapu-Lapu City, the CTMS said the roads it will close are the whole stretch of G.Y. dela Serna St. and a portion of M.L. Quezon National Highway from the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge towards and up to the corner of P. Rodriguez St., near Looc Central School.
A portion of S. Osmeña St. from the corner of Ceres St. up to the corner of Lopez Jaena St. (near the Virgen dela Regla church’s main entrance) will also be closed to traffic.
The other road closures include the whole stretch of Lopez Jaena St. from the corner of Mantaue Road up to the corner of P. Rodriguez St. corner Dad Cleland St., and a portion of P. Rodriguez St. from the Canjulao Junction up to the corner of B.M. Dimataga St.
The whole stretch of B.M. Dimataga and Risdon streets will also be closed.
The road closures will start at 10 p.m. Friday. The streets will be opened at 1:30 a.m. Saturday after the Sto. Niño icon arrives at the Virgen dela Regla church.
At 5 a.m., the same roads will be closed again for a motorcade towards the Navforcen base.
Meanwhile, the personnel of City of Talisay Traffic Operations Development Authority (CT-Toda) are not to go on day off or vacation leave during the Sinulog on Sunday, Jan. 19. CT-Toda chief Jonathan Tumulak said a traffic enforcer will work for nine hours. He said they had an agreement with the Cebu City Transportation Office to help the latter’s personnel during the Sinulog. (FVQ, GCM & FMD / KAL)