The wooden altar table, lectern and presider’s chair have arrived.
The furniture, with its bamboo accents peeking through its protective sheets, were carried up the steps of the templete yesterday as workers put the finishing touches on the venue of Friday’s national thanksgiving Mass for San Pedro Calungsod.
A portrait of the second Filipino saint was positioned at the main altar’s center wall.
According to Fr. Brian Brigoli, co-chairman of the venue committee, all is complete save for the lights, landscaping and fresh flowers which will be installed today and tomorrow.
“We’ll do the floral decorations last or they will just wilt in the heat,” he said.
The site development is 95 percent complete with some minor works ongoing. Tents, projectors, and sound system equipment also started arriving yesterday.
Organizers are expecting to take delivery of 10,000 chairs from various localities. The chairs will be positioned in the cemented area across the main altar where VIPs and dignitaries,government officials, church donors and benefactors will be seated. President Aquino will also be seated in that area.
The elevated templete with its wings spanning both sides of the altar will hold around 300 church officials, including bishops.
Technicians from the country’s telecom giants Smart and Globe have been setting up cables and equipment in the SRP area.
According to site architect Ramon Vios, Smart and Globe will provide WiFi connectivity services in the area to enable participants to tweet, post pictures and updates of the festivities and enable organizers and the media to remain connected with their bases. Half of the field will be served by Smart while the other half is assigned to Globe.
The templete stands on 700 square meters of the South Road Properties (SRP) but levelling the vast expanse of the 27-hectare venue poses the biggest challenge that organizers and volunteers have been trying to surmount for days.
Aided by two days of sunny weather since Monday, bulldozers and graders made good progress in compacting loose soil. Workers will later add a layer of limestone which can better absorb water in case it rains.
“If it rains, it may be muddy, but your shoes won’t sink in the ground,” said Brigoli, who is now confident that there won’t be a repeat of the flooding seen in last week’s downpour.
Nevertehless, he advised the public to bring umbrellas or rain coats, whatever the weather will be on Friday.