PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur--The city government has canceled all crowd-drawing activities in the forthcoming Pasalamat Festival 2021 as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
This city’s fiesta, officially called Pasalamat Festival, is celebrated every third Sunday of January to honor its patron saint, the Holy Child Jesus (Santo Niño).
The canceled popular events include street dance and ritual competition, Regatta, motocross, Sinulog dance, and the nightly variety shows.
Mayor Samuel Co said Tuesday that these activities were canceled as they could not be complacent even though there is a decline in the cases of Covid-19 here.
Co said the cancellation of crowd-drawing activities were agreed upon by the city government and the local diocese.
Every year, thousands of devotees from nearby areas flock to this city for the Pasalamat Festival celebration.
The local diocese has set three schedules for the conduct of novena mass to lessen the number of devotees and ensure compliance with health protocols inside the Church.
Bishop Ronald Lunas of this city’s diocese on Tuesday encouraged the public to continue their devotion despite the limited number of people allowed entry to the church during the novena masses.
“Let this remain a meaningful celebration with an additional understanding and patience needed on the limits because of the pandemic. But despite all, Covid-19 has given people learning experiences in life, strengthening the relationship with the family and friends, the environment and with God,” Lunas said. (PNA)