Visitors still flock to Pedro’s templete
A DAY after the big event, devotees and curious tourists continued to visit the templete at the South Road Properties (SRP) to see the pyramid-inspired landmark up close and take photos.
“We are here for a vacation but we are also here to be blessed,” said Dansuy de la Cruz of La Union province in northwest Luzon yesterday.
He and his office colleagues had planned to attend the Nov. 30 National Thanksgiving Mass for St. Pedro Calungsod but failed to go due to the large crowd and traffic congestion in the area.
So the tourists rented a van to visit the templete after the crowds had gone.
Jack, their 43-year-old van owner-cum-driver, said the Calungsod celebration has kept them busy ferrying guests since two weeks ago.
“Dako kaayo’g tabang sa turismo (This is a big boost for tourism.),” he said, adding that they expect more guests as Christmas nears which would benefit his five-year-old van rental business.
Jack and his family were at the templete about 1 p.m. last Friday to attend the outdoor Mass and watched the crowd quickly grow, seemingly by the minute. “Grabe gyud ang mga tao,” he said.
He said even visitors from Luzon can see the religiousity of Cebuanos in the event.
Those unable to attend the Nov. 30 outdoor Mass because of the big crowds made sure to come and see the templete, where St. Pedro Calungsod’s portrait on a large tarpaulin still hangs in the sanctuary.
Paulino Java, 35 and his wife Glenda, 32 , live close by in barangay Quiot-Pardo but preferred to stay home and watch the Mass on television in order to avoid the crowds.
“We prayed for the holy intercession of St. Pedro Calungsod,” said the couple.
Cebu City police authorities said the crowd last Friday reached 800,000 to one million, an estimate that matched expectations of church organizers.
Yesterday, the family of site architect Ramon Vios showed up to see up close the edifice that he had been working hard on for the fast few months as a volunteer.
“His sister also wanted to take pictures of the templete,” said Vios’ wife.
Vios is a member of the committee on venue with fellow architect Melva Java, who collaborated on the temple design sketched by by Fr. Brian Brigoli.
When Cebu Daily News visited the site yesterday it was swept clean of litter from Friday’s mass gathering.
Metal guard railings were still there along with some volunteers and Cebu city government workers.
Children from neighboring slums went about collecting discarded plastic bottles to be sold as recyclables.
“Niari mi para ni Pedro, dayon nanglata og hapit (We are here for Pedro as well as to collect junk items),” said 12-year-old Jeric who walked to the SRP from his home in Talisay City.
Jeric was with his 16-year-old friend Manman. They arrived in SRP early afternoon.
Manman said they usually earn P100 to P130 from their pickings. Correspondent Tweeny M. Malinao
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