Niño altars to greet balikbayans

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

THE Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) and a private firm have installed two special Sto. Niño altars as part of their preparations for the Sinulog festival.

MCIAA Public Affairs Manager Mary Ann M. Dimabayao said the two altars were installed by the authority and Simon Craft International at the International and Domestic Arrival Terminals.

The altars are meant to welcome incoming international passengers, especially devotees of Sto. Niño.


This is the sixth year that Simon Craft, in coordination with MCIAA, installed Sto. Niño altars at the Mactan airport.

Dimabayao said they are expecting hundreds of balikbayans from the US on board a Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight which will arrive in Mactan at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

They will be welcomed by Balik-Cebu committee chaired by Tetta Baad.

More balikbayans will arrive from the US and Europe at 11:30 a.m., also tomorrow, on board a Cathay Pacific flight.

In the past years, most of the balikbayans are from Las Vegas, California and New York in the US and from other countries like The Netherlands, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

United Laboratories (Unilab) and Pascual Laboratories, both drug manufacturers, will distribute wellness kits for those who will join the the Sinulog in case they get sick, Dimabayao said.

Pascual Laboratories will also present children in “Filipiniana” attire for photo opportunity for the Balikbayans.

There will also be painting exhibits at the airport called “Pakigsaulog sa Sinulog” to be participated by Cebuano artists headed by Celso Pepito, Dimabayao said.

In this exhibit, images of Cebuanos as peace-loving, religious, industrious, hospitable and family-oriented people will be displayed.

There are award-winning pictures taken from the past Sinulog activities which will also be displayed during the exhibit.

“All balikbayans will be given leis while Sinulog songs will be aired through the airport’s public address system to create a festive mood,” Dimabayao said.

Outside the arrival area, Sinulog dancers from the different contingents will perform so Balikbayans will be entertained before proceeding to their destinations.

“They will also have photo opportunities with the Sinulog dancers at the airport,” Dimabayao said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 15, 2013.

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