An estimated crowd of 80,000 devotees of Sto. Niño joined the foot procession Walk with Jesus at 4 a.m. on January 11 that started at the Fuente Osmeña Circle.
The procession marks the start of the religious activities leading up to the Sinulog. It is an annual tradition wherein Augistinian friars and devotees walk about a kilometer long from Fuente Osmeña to Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño through Osmeña Boulevard.
Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management came up with an estimate of 80,000 devotees who participated in the procession and those who were waiting in the basilica.
Videos of the procession showed most of the Holy Infant Jesus’ devotees holding Sto. Niño’s images, with some even decked in LED lights. There were also kids dressed in Sto. Niño costumes.
After the procession that lasted for around an hour and 15 minutes, the first of the nine-day novena mass was held at the Pilgrim Center of the basilica, presided by Fr. Pacifico Nohara Jr., OSA.
The mass ended at around 7 a.m.
The Augistinian friars announced a few changes to the flow of events in the Sinulog religious activities.
The Traslacion on January 20 will start with the Sto. Niño being brought to the National Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Regla in Lapu-lapu City for a mass, before the miraculous image will be brought to the Naval Forces Central in the same city for the start of the fluvial parade along the Mactan Channel. The parade will end in Pier 1 in Cebu City. Sto. Niño will then be brought home to the basilica, where the participants will witness the reenactment of the first mass, baptism, and wedding at the Pilgrim Center.
Another procession will take place in the afternoon of January 20, particularly around the main streets of Cebu City.
Sto. Niño’s feast day this year falls on January 21, which will be celebrated with a mass officiated by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma at the basilica.