NAGA CITY --- The Archdiocese of Caceres and the Naga City government have jointly decided to cancel all major religious and civic activities during this year’s Peñafrancia fiesta including all processions, parades, and commercial activities to minimize the threat of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) among the multitude of “Ina’s” devotees and pilgrims.
In a joint statement issued on Saturday, June 27, Caceres Archbishop Rolando Octavus J. Tria Tirona and Mayor Nelson S. Legacion bared the cancellation of “Traslacion, Fluvial, Dawn, Perdon, Harubay and all procession whatsoever.”
Also scrapped are “all civic and commercial activities such as the Voyadores Festival, Civic and Military Parades, Trade Fair, Exhibits, Competitions, Concerts, and all other mass gatherings.”
The decision to cancel all major activities during the annual festivities of the Divino Rostro on Sept. 2 to 11 and Our Lady of Peñafrancia, lovingly called “Ina,” on Sept. 11 to 20 this year was arrived at in view of “the present state of national public health emergency due to the deadly COVID-19 global pandemic,” which requires “physical or social distancing and other measures to avoid infection and contamination.”
The statement said that the archdiocese decided to hold “our Peñafrancia celebration by way of home based, BEC-based or parish based novena masses and other religious practices for which purpose all devotees are strongly encouraged to stay and remain in their respective localities and no longer travel to Naga City.”
Other religious activities that are suspended include “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.”
Tirona and Legacion urged everyone to “ celebrate the Feasts of “Divino Rostro” and “Ina” in a safe, prayerful and blessed environment.”