WITHOUT the Kaplag Festival, there would be no Sinulog, organizers said following the opening of the annual event yesterday.
Msgr. Trinidad “Danny” Silva, overall chairman of the Kaplag executive committee, said the Kaplag Festival was celebrated more for its history and religious ties due to the commercialization of Cebu City’s Sinulog Festival.
About 12 contingents in barangay San Nicolas will be participating in the Kaplag-Buwad Festival parade that ends in barangay Tabo-an, Cebu City, this Saturday.
More than 30 tartanilla drivers will join the event with Msgr. Silva and the shrine committee riding the tartanilla during the 3 p.m parade from San Nicolas Parish to Tabo-an, Cebu City.
Silva said the San Nicholas parish church is the first built in Cebu. He also reminded the public “not to forget the religious aspect” of the Kaplag, a Cebuano term for discovery, amid the revelry.
The four-day Kaplag Festival opened yesterday with a Mass at Magellan’s Cross at 5 p.m. followed by a short procession from Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño passing to Osmeña Boulevard to Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral at 6 p.m.
The first Kaplag celebration was held in the late 1990s by Bishop Precioso Gandillas along with the rector of the Basilica, said Ellen Salgado, communication officer of the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC).
A fish festival organized by the Pasil-Sawang Calero Vendors’ Association will offer visitors a 10 percent discount for dried fish this Saturday.
A 6 a.m. fluvial procession also on Saturday will ferry participants and the image of the Sto. Niño from LUDO to the Pasil Fish port.
The Kaplag Festival celebrates the discovery of the Sto. Niño image 40 years after Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan’s defeat in Mactan and during the arrival of Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legaspi.
At 5 p.m. today, there will be a Mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral followed by a procession of the image to San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish. Correspondent Tweeny M. Malinao