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
Devotees flock to Cebu for ’Sinulog’ festival
Tourists begin to check in ahead of Philippines grand paradeContestants perform a number during the Sinulog festival (Photo courtesy of sinulog.ph)
- Emmanuel Mongaya, Cebu City
- January 10, 2011
The festival will culminate on Jan. 16 with a grand parade through a 4.5km route across Cebu city, featuring festival giants, colorful floats and marching bands.
A day before the grand parade, a 7km solemn procession in honor of the Child Jesus will highlight the end of the nine-day novena at the Basilica del Santo NiÃ±o.
Other activities of the 10-day festival include the grand coronation night of the Miss Cebu pageant, the Cebu Pop Music Festival, trade fairs, a parade along the river, street parties and a short-film festival.
The first batch of 32 "balikbayans" or returning Filipinos arrived at Mactan-Cebu International Airport last week, while 200 more are expected on Jan. 13, said Cinbeth Orellano of the Cebu City Tourism Commission.
While tourists booked into hotels and resorts, the poorer devotees from nearby provinces have started setting up tents near the church of the Child Jesus at Fort San Pedro.
Over a million devotees usually crowd the streets of Cebu during the religious procession and the grand Sinulog parade. Police said they expect a crowd of over two million people this year.
The Sinulog is a traditional dance that natives of Cebu offer to their gods before Portuguese explorer Fernando de Magallanes or Ferdinand Magellan gifted the queen of Cebu the image of the Child Jesus when she was baptized a Christian.
Security up in Cebu for feast of Child Jesus
Cherished Filipino festival brings English town to standstill
Devotees Pray To Santo Nino, Dance To Mark Feast Day