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PCG targets zero mishap fluvial procession

NAGA CITY (PIA) – The Joint Operations Center for the Peñafrancia Festival 2023 is now all-set for the upcoming fluvial procession on Saturday, September 16, as the images and icons of Our Lady of Peñafrancia and the beloved Divino Rostro will return to Basilica Minore from the Metropolitan Cathedral Church through the Bicol River.

In a press briefing, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), being the chair of the marine security cluster, discussed its deployment plan and measures to secure zero-incident, as well as safe and smooth-sailing transfer of Ina.

PCG Camarines Sur Chief-of-Staff Raynaldo Aringo, Jr. said that exactly 200 individuals will get on board the pagoda and will be navigating the river together with Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia. They are composed of male catechists, religious teachers, captains, crews and priests strictly wearing life jackets.

In order to avoid overloading, the authorities will maintain the required capacity of the pagoda.

A total of 25 floating assets for the responding units and more than 140 peddling voyadores (devotees) were registered for the fluvial procession. Aringo said that for PCG will allot two standby boats in specific areas on the river to panel and guide the routes of the fluvial. Dredging concerns on the river prior to the commencement of the Saturday activity has been addressed, and floodgates will close at 9 am to sustain high water level.

The Philippine National Police, Naga City Administrator Elmer Baldermoro said, was directed to monitor and control the crowd of pilgrims looking over the bridges. He said that they should only pass through the bridge, and not stay for long, in order to prevent any bridge collapses.

Aringo said that every participant for the fluvial shall be 18 years old above, and should not be under the influenced of liquour. 

Multicolored boats followed the pagoda carrying Inang Penafrancia and the image of Divina Rostro through the Naga River. Photo taken during Fluvial Procession 2022 by Jam Madrid of PIA Cam Sur

Bigger fiesta parades aim ‘enriched devotion to God’

Councilor Lito Del Rosario, chair of the scouts parade committee, said that following the traslacion procession on Friday, September 8, every parade competition organized by the City Government of Naga aims to deepen and enrich the participants’ devotion to God.

On September 12, Tuesday, Regional Majorettes, DBC, Band, and Drill Exhibition took place.

On September 13, Wednesday, the Scouts Parade and DXMC Competition will start at 7am from Panganiban Drive to Plaza Quezon. In the afternoon, the first ever Naga City Interschool Dance Competition or mass field demonstration will take place, and will be joined by elementary students. Del Rosario said that around 31 schools with a maximum of 100 kids from all over Naga City, Iriga City, and other towns in the province of Cam Sur were listed to join.

The mass dance competition will have corresponding awards from the LGU Naga in support to the developmental projects of the respective winning schools, Baldemoro also announced.

On September 14, Thursday, an initial number of 500 contingents were already identified by the committee from every sector of Naga City, and the municipal governments of Pamplona and Bula . These include a pool of city hall employees from said neighboring towns, delegates from 10 bands and majorettes from schools in Naga City; 364 participants for the civic parade; and 155 riders and bikers. Baldemoro, who will chair the said parade, said that around 22 floats will compete for this year’s festival.

Photo Credits: Naga City Events Protocol and Public Information Office last MIliatry Parade 2023

After the judging competitions that will be held at Plaza Quezon, all parades will end at the Porta Mariae to pay homage to the image of the Divino Rostro. The city administrator said that these official list has surpassed the number of devotees who joined the occasion last year.

On September 15, Friday, 74 uniform agencies and different schools will conduct troops and marching performances for the Bicol Regional Military Parade Competition. Councilor Omar Buenafe, the committee chair for this event, said that challenging groups come from Naga City, provinces of Cam Sur, Cam Norte, Albay and Sorsogon.

The judges will also come from different regions such as the regional directors of the Department of Education Bicol, PNP Bicol, commanding officers of the 9th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, and other area commanders.

Rev. Fr. Pablo Carpio of the Basilica Minore appealed once more on the public to avoid violence during the fluvial procession. He said that every person devoting themselves to God should practice gentleness and ‘fraternal correction’ for any misconducts during the events.

Chancellor of Archdiocese of Caceres Fr. Darius Romualdo mentioned that there are bigger preparations for next year’s Peñafrancia Festival for the nearing 100th year of Ina being crowned as the Queen of Bicol that devotees should anticipate about. (PIA5/Camarines Sur)

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Keren Anne Bernadas


Region 5

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