Sun.Star Pampanga - - LIFE­STYLE -

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.

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