NAGA CITY --- The Naga City Police Office (NCPO) will deploy 78 police officers who will maintain peace and order in the entire city during the celebration of the feast of the Patroness of Bicolandia, Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia.
Major Jocel Zape, NCPO’s Operations Management Unit acting chief, said aside from that number, an augmentation force of 150 more police personnel from six police provincial offices in the region are expected to arrive here on Sept. 9.
“We will be sending them [policemen] to malls, churches, plazas, and other places frequented by the public to maintain the orderliness in such areas. We will see to it also that minimum health standards are properly observed by everyone,” Zape said.
She said the police officers will keep their assigned areas 24/7 including those places outside the Central Business District I and II to thoroughly check that rules on face mask, physical distancing, group drinking, unsanitary sneezing and spitting including urinating in public areas are strictly enforced.
Regarded as the grandest Marian Festival in the Philippines, if not in South East Asia, the Peñafrancia Fiesta officially starts on the first Friday of September and ends after the 3rd Sunday of the month. Every year, the feast draws millions of devotees and pilgrims from different parts of the country and abroad.
But this year, the colorful and celebratory mood of the feast can hardly be the same as in previous celebrations after the Archdiocese of Caceres and the city government of Naga have decided to tone down the annual traditional festivity due to the pandemic.
In earlier interview, Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona assured that though there will be changes on how Bicolanos show their gratitude to Ina, devotees can still devout their time to express their devotion and beseech her maternal affection by way of the traditional novenas and the celebration of masses at their parishes.
TRASLACION. Multitude of “voyadores” join the “traslacion” procession of the statue of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, Bicolandia’s patroness, every 2nd Friday of September, which kicks off the start of the nine-day novena and religious fiesta in Naga City. The procession transfers the image of “Ina” from the old Peñafrancia Church to the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. Every September, over one million devotees and tourists visit Naga City to participate in the biggest Marian Festival in Asia. This year, the Archdiocese of Caceres and the Naga City government decided to cancel all major religious and civic activities in connection with the feast of “Ina” due to the coronavirus disease. Tom Falcon / Choose Philippines