Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada on Friday ordered city hall offices to ensure peaceful, safe and orderly Sto. Nino festivities particularly in Tondo and Pandacan, districts that traditionally celebrate the feast of the Holy Infant Jesus.
In the Catholic calendar, the feast of the Sto. Nino is celebrated every third Sunday of January, but related activities are held as early as Saturday.
The highlight of the festivities in Tondo is the “Lakbayaw (Lakbay-Sayaw)” while that in Pandacan is the “Buling-Buling Festival,” a celebration of street dancing where participants come in their best attire.
“Per Mayor Estrada’s orders, we organized medical teams for both the Tondo and Pandacan celebrations,” Manila Health Department chief Dr. Ben Yson said.
“I know all the hospitals are also on alert for these celebrations. We are deploying ambulances there, which will be manned by medical personnel and paramedics. There will be three teams working in shifts in Tondo, and one team for Pandacan,” Yson added.
The Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office is also on alert for the events, said its chief, Johnny Yu.
“We use the same template for the Quiapo Nazarene feast. Emergency volunteers will be deployed in and outside the routes. Everything is coordinated with the national and regional agencies. All of them are also coordinated with the Manila Police District and the Manila Health Department,” Yu said.
Department of Public Service Chief Che Borromeo said street cleaning and clearing operations were done, particularly along the routes of the traditional procession of the Sto. Nino image.
“We are mobilizing 97 street sweepers from January 14 to 15, especially in Tondo, because there are a lot of roads to be passed by the parade, such as Juan Luna street, Plaza Hernandez, E. Nolasco, N. Zamora, and Moriones,” Borromeo said.
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