INC centennial draws 1.5 million people

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

MANILA -- Some 1.5 million members of religious group Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) have attended its centennial celebration in Ciudad de Victoria in Bocaue, Bulacan, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Sunday.

The INC welcomed its 100th founding anniversary through a special pyro-musical presentation at midnight.

Two hours later, INC members with tickets entered the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena to hear the worship service of INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo at 6 a.m.

Ciudad de Victoria
Ciudad de Victoria is a 50-hectare tourism enterprise zone established by the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) in time for its centennial celebration on Sunday. INC is considered as the third largest religious denomination in the Philippines with its members comprising 2.3 percent of the population based on the census of Year 2000 conducted by the National Statistics Office. (AP)

Manalo's worship service was considered the highlight of the celebration.

Wide screens, chairs and tents were set up to cater to other members who were not able to enter the Philippine Arena. Food stalls also dotted the area.

The celebration ended Sunday afternoon but traffic situation along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) will only normalize by Monday morning due to return trips of those who took part in the event, the MMDA said.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Philippine Red Cross said more than 100 individuals were given first aid assistance due to minor injuries since Saturday.

Due to the number of individuals who attended the historical event, motorists heading to the Ciudad de Victoria experienced heavy traffic as some roads were made temporary parking areas.

The MMDA earlier said more than 12,000 buses and 3,000 vans were expected to carry the delegates from different parts of Luzon.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino urged other motorists to take alternative routes such as passing through the McArthur Highway to avoid heavy traffic.

Tolentino also reminded the public to access the free INC Sentenaryo application for smart and android phones and tablets that provides real-time traffic information along the NLEX during the INC celebration.

The MMDA chief said the application will run until August 2. (Third Anne Peralta/Sunnex)

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