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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Regatta, fluvial procession more safe now, says Coast Guard chief

By Gideon C. Corgue 

PAGADIAN CITY – The 2015 regatta and fluvial procession, a religious-civic celebration, is more safe and secure now than the previous years’ celebration, said Lt. Laverny Ikan, station commander of the Philippine Coast Guard here in an interview yesterday.

Speaking in a gathering of local officials, government employees, barangay officials, and spectators, Ikan emphasized the importance of holding the regatta “as a gesture of thanksgiving to patron saint Sr. Sto. Nino.

Regatta is an annual event which features over a hundred of boats joining a fluvial procession, traditionally held each year by the city government as part of the lined up activities for the annual fiesta celebration called “Pasalamat festival.”

In addition to fluvial procession, boat paddling race, pump boat race, swimming relay, “scubasurero” and balls collection at sea will also be held.

Ikan said the Philippine Coastguard headquarters in Manila had provided more land and sea-based assets intended for the scheduled activities.

“You can see now patrol boats from Philippine Coastguard, Philippine Navy and Maritime Police-Security Group sailing at the wharf area purporsely to provide a systematic management, secure and safe celebration of “Pasalamat Festival,” Ikan announced.

The coastguard chief said “it is only this year that Memorandum Circular No. 04-14 was issued by the Philippine Coastguard to the city government and Sto. Nino Cathedral through the Fiesta Executive Council 2015 allowing them to conduct the regatta and fluvial procession.

Meanwhile, the Pasalamat Festival steering committee chaired Cesar Dacal Jr. lauded the barangay officials and residents of the 12 coastal barangays for their active participation of regatta.

“Your presence in this momentous event is in response to the call of church officials that each one of us should love and respect the poor people, as patron saint Sr. Sto. Nino did,” Dacal said.  

Mayor Romeo Pulmones also hoped that the officials of the coastal barangays would continue to support the activities so that “the youth of today should inculcate in their minds the importance of Pasalamat Festival.”

“Let us not forget that it is in the sea where we can get our food and we feed our family,” Pulmones concluded.