be held at 7 am to 9 am, while those in barangays Sta. Lucia and San Nicolas will be held simultaneously at 9 am to 11 am, followed by the one in Barangay San Pedro at 11 am to 3 pm.
Aside from the penitents, hundreds of “magdarame” or flagellants are expected to parade in the streets, carrying wooden crosses or whipping their backs with bamboo sticks, as they go to the crucifixion site in Barangay San Pedro Cutud.
Meanwhile, Pangilinan said at least 15,000 to 20,000 local and foreign tourists are expected to witness this year’s Maleldo Lenten rites in the said four crucifixion sites.
Pangilinan advised spectators to bring protection against the scorching heat of the sun, especially water, and be responsible for their own trash.
Since San Fernando is branded as an inclusive city, Pangilinan also asked spectators to respect the faith and belief of all Fernandinos and the people they may interact with during their stay here.
“Maleldo is a tradition for Catholics, but we must also understand that there are other people who have other religious beliefs and we are asking everybody to respect that just as much as they respect our observation of this tradition,” she said.
Safety and security
Meanwhile, Maleldo Executive Committee Chairperson Robbie Hizon said the committee partnered with uniformed personnel and other concerned government agencies to ensure the safety and security of spectators during the event.
He disclosed that 220 policemen, 45 personnel of the Philippine Army, 148 personnel of the City Public Order and Safety Coordinating Office and 19 personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection will be deployed in the area.
Moreover, 34 personnel of City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, 33 personnel from City Health Office, 49 personnel from Dx3 Cabalen Communications Group and 19 members of the CSF Muslim Community will provide service and augmentation to the security group.
Not a tourist attraction
Hizon also clarified that the Maleldo Lenten rites are not a tourist attraction in San Fernando but rather the Fernandinos’ way of showcasing their faith.
Hizon said this capital city has been observing Maleldo for more than six decades with the Via Crusis which began on 1955, followed by an actual crucifixion in 1962.
“Maleldo is not a tourist attraction like Boracay, nor a show that is aimed at entertaining the audience. This is a solemn tradition for Fernandinos wherein we remember the passion and death of Christ,” he said.