Devotee City: Free shelter for pilgrims, transients | Inquirer News

Devotee City: Free shelter for pilgrims, transients

By: - Day Desk Editor / @dbongcac
/ 08:01 AM January 16, 2013

About 110 empty container vans will be ready for occupancy when City Hall opens the  Devotee City on Friday for pilgrims and out-of-town Sinulog visitors who can’t afford to book a room in a pension house or hotel.

The site beside the Compania Maritima building of the Cebu Ports Authority is equipped with portable toilets, shower rooms, lights, Wi-Fi and 24-hour security.

Ten container vans will be set aside for night dwellers and 100 vans will be reserved for transients, said Councilor Roberto Cabarrubias.


The shelter and its amenities are offered for free by the Cebu City government for the Sinulog celebration.


The program began in 1996 when City Hall provided shelter for 300 transients.

Last year, about 3,120 visitors stayed in the Devotee City, which is made up of stacks of empty container vans loaned by shipping companies

Cabarrubias said transients from outside Metro Cebu – beyond Danao City in the north and Carcar City in the south – and those from other provinces have to present their boat or bus tickets upon registration.

They will be given ID cards for entry and raffle purposes.

“There were already people who came to the Devotee City yesterday morning hoping to stay there but we turned them away because we’re still preparing the area,” he said in yesterday’s press conference.

The devotee city will be open starting Friday morning until Monday or the day after the Sinulog parade and Sto. Niño feast day.


Cabarrubias said authorities will round up the “night dwellers” or people who live on the streets, on Friday so they won’t block the way of devotees joining the foot procession for the Sto. Niño feast this Saturday and the Sinulog Grand Parade this Sunday.

Cabarrubias said additional tents are ready in case there are more devotees this week.

Each container van can accommodate 20 to 30 people.

Cabarrubias said the night dwellers will be kept separate from the transients to make it easier for the devotee city committee to monitor their activities.

Some donors may give free bread and other food at the devotee city.

Dr. Fe Cabugao, head of the City Health Department, said they also set up a mobile medical/dental van and P18,000 worth of medicines like anti-hypertensive medicines and antacids for the occupants.

A film showing will be held on Friday evening while entertainment will also be provided by local talents. Julie’s Bakeshop will raffle off prizes on Saturday evening.

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The Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity of the University of the Philippines will serve as landlords to oversee activities in Devotee City and will occupy three vans for four days and three nights. About P980,000 was donated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) for the Devotee City. With Correspondent Christine Emily L. Pantaleon

TAGS: Sinulog

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