Naga City to impose gun ban during Peñafrancia feast
NAGA CITY – The Naga City government has imposed a gun ban during the 9-day religious festival of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, called “Ina” by her devotees, from Sept. 11-21.
Only policemen or military personnel in uniform and on duty are allowed to carry firearms during the religious feast that is expected to draw more than a million devotees to this city, where the Ina devotion started 305 years ago.
Naga City Vice Mayor Nelson Legacion said the Philippine National Police will start enforcing the gun ban on Sept. 11, when the feast will start with the traslacion, or the procession of barefoot male devotees called voyadores who will transfer the image of Ina from the Our Lady of Peñafrancia Shrine to the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral.
After a nine-day novena at the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral, the annual feast will culminate in a fluvial procession at the Naga River to return the Ina image to its “home,” the Basilica Minore de Peñafrancia, which adjoins the Peñafrancia Shrine, on Sept. 21.
Also prohibited during the two ritual processions –the traslacion and the fluvial procession— are the showering of confetti and water-hosing of voyadores which are deemed disruptive to the solemnity of the feast. Juan Escandor Jr., Inquirer Southern Luzon