INFORMATION BLITZ: Paalala sa mga OFW-members ng PhilHealth: Ang PhilHealth membership and contribution ay MANDATORY ayon sa batas kaya magpamiyembro at magbayad ng kontribusyon bago umalis ng bansa. Seguraduhin ang proteksyon ng kalusugan ng iyong sarili at pamilya.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Zambo celebrates solemn, peaceful Fiesta Pilar

By Dominic I. Sanchez

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar yesterday (October 12) thanked the police, military, their force multipliers and residents  for helping ensure a safe Fiesta Pilar celebration, since October 1 until yesterday’s grand procession.

Thousands of residents from all walks of life joined in the Grand Procession in honor of Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar, the city’s matron, which began at around 3 in the afternoon at the Metropolitan Cathedral, ending at around 5, with a mass celebrated by Archbishop Romulo dela Cruz at the Fort Pilar.

Fort Pilar itself was packed with devotees including Mayor Climaco-Salazar, Congressman Celso Lobregat and other local officials. Residents have been coming in throngs to Fort Pilar since the start of the 9-day Novena in honor of the Lady.

Ñora Carmelita Delos Reyes, a 72-year-old devotee who has been a La Virgen devotee all her life said that she felt more comfortable seeing police, military and Red Cross volunteers all around Fort Pilar. “Mas ta sinti iyo comfortable pati hinde na iyo ta tiene miedo na ay tiene maga mal hente na pikura ase malo el celebrasyon,” (I feel comfortable and I am not anymore afraid that there could be any person to do their evil plans to disrupt the celebrations), said Ñora Carmelita.

Security in the procession route as well as in Fort Pilar itself was very tight. Police and military were highly visible, and adding to them were force multipliers including criminology students from local universities.

Cellular signal was observed to have been cut off in the procession areas as part of the security measures.

Earlier, Mayor Climaco-Salazar issued executive orders with regards to security measures in Fiesta Hermosa activity areas. This included the banning of caps, backpacks, and the wearing of hoods in the premises. Devotees were also subjected to inspection prior to entering the Fort Pilar shrine.

The mayor expressed her gratitude for all who participated and cooperated with the authorities in the strict implementation of the security procedures.

Residents such as Ñora Carmelita are more grateful for the added security, since it ensured the safety of all devotees. On the other hand, Red Cross volunteers were on standby and took care of any person who needed immediate medical attention.