Holy Week in Cebu ‘mostly holy, orderly’

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Monday, April 1, 2013

CEBU CITY -- A small fire, a few road accidents, and the arrest of some men for illegal possession of firearms kept the police in Cebu busy during Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday.

But these incidents, which the police described as minor, failed to spoil the peaceful observance of the last week of Lent this year.

Senior Superintendent Patrocinio Comendador, head of the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO), declared the religious holidays as generally peaceful.


The Sugat Kabanhawan Festival in Minglanilla town, he said, went without a hitch on Sunday despite the high turnout of spectators.

“In the previous year, there were reports of pick-pocketing. Wala gyud karon (We had none of that this year),” Comendador said.

In Bantayan Island, where hundreds of locals decided to spend their holidays either to join the procession or beach parties, there were no major crimes reported.

Sugat Kabanhawan festival in Minglanilla, Cebu
THE FAMILY THAT PARADES TOGETHER. A family persuades a performer, dressed as a larger-than-life image of the Risen Christ, to join them for a photo during the Sugat Kabanhawan festival in Minglanilla town. (Sun.Star Cebu Photo/Alex Badayos)

At random checkpoints, several men were arrested for alleged possession of illegal firearms and violations of the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) gun ban.

A similarly peaceful Holy Week was reported in Cebu City, said Senior Superintendent Mariano Natu-el Jr., acting chief of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).

He said the presence of police teams in areas where people converged, such as churches, helped thwart the plans of criminals.


Natu-el said there were no other crimes reported except for the attempt of one man to steal some bills from the donation box inside the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral last Good Friday.

On Maundy Thursday, a fire struck the third floor of the WDC building on Osmeña Blvd., Barangay Sto. Niño.

An electrical short-circuit was eyed as the cause of the blaze that damaged at least P50,000 worth of properties.

Since Palm Sunday, the police maintained a heightened alert on Camp Crame’s orders. The status will be lifted today, Monday.

In an earlier interview, Senior Superintendent Edward Carranza, head of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Central Visayas directorial staff, said their security preparations will continue throughout the summer vacation.

During his Easter Sunday mass, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma urged the Cebuano faithful to be thankful that God has given them new saints.

He said the recent canonization of Saint Pedro Calungsod and the proposed recognition of other potential saints such as the late Archbishop Teofilo Camomot are proof that Filipinos are getting closer to God.

Last laugh

“Heaven is getting closer through our saints. Through Christ’s resurrection, not just our saints but all of us, as well, are given a place in heaven through our faith,” Palma said.

He praised this year’s Sugat production, performed by the Barkada performers of Barangay Pardo and the Sandiego Dance Troupe.

Before the Easter mass, the performers reenacted the Passion of Jesus Christ, which began with His entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and ended on His death and resurrection.

Archbishop Palma, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said that through the Sugat, he saw a glimpse of the vital role of Jesus Christ’s mother, Mary.

Mary may have suffered with her son’s death, but she too “reaped the fruitful harvest” with His resurrection, he said.

The lesson of Easter, he added, is the triumph of life over death and the victory of Jesus through His resurrection.

“Kung sa Tagalog pa, ‘Sa atin ang huling halakhak’ (As they say in Tagalog, ‘We get the last laugh’),” Palma said. (DSM/JKV/Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 02, 2013.

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