Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Cebu shrugs off liquor ban for famous festival
Mayor bows to complaints that drinking erodes Sinulog ’solemnity’Festival participants doing a street dance (Photo courtesy of sinulog.ph)
- Emmanuel Mongaya, Cebu City
- January 13, 2011
The annual celebration dedicated toÂ SeÃ±or Sto. NiÃ±o or the Baby Jesus has featured food, drinking and street entertainment since its inception in 1980.
But this year, newly elected Cebu MayorÂ Michael Rama surprised many by denying the request of liquor companies to sell beer on Sunday, the last day of the festival.
His action was in response by some complaints that while religious fervor was the order of the day, at night the gathering of thousands of people turned into a drunken revel. Critics complained that the "commercialist excesses" drowned out the solemnity of the occasion.
The mayor said the sale of alcoholic drinks would violate a city ordinance, which prohibits the sale and serving of liquor within 100 meters of churches, hospitals, schools and public plazas.
Although the ordinance allows the mayor to grant special permits, Rama said he would not do so, althoughÂ businesses along the parade routeÂ already licensed to sell liquor would be unaffected.
The Fuente OsmeÃ±a Circle is an ideal place to sell goods during the festivities, especially during the Grand Parade on Sunday because thousands of devotees are expected to flock to the area.
The ubiquitous barbecue and puso â€“ rice cooked and served in woven coconut leaves â€“ along with the lechon (roasted pig), which is Cebuâ€™s specialty, are readily available at food stalls along the 4.5 km parade route.
While most Cebuanos have shrugged off the ban, some say that drinking is a highlight of the festivities that attracts visitors. They say the mayor needs to do more than refuse the issuance of permits to sell beer to bring back solemnity to the festival.
Devotees flock to Cebu for â€˜Sinulogâ€™ festival
Security up in Cebu for feast of Child Jesus
Cherished Filipino festival brings English town to standstill