AFTER a rapturous welcome by millions of Filipinos, Pope Francis left the country yesterday “feeling the warmth” of the bastion of Christianity in Asia. While many in Cebu who had hoped the popular pontiff would drop by were disappointed, there are talks the pope will be here for an important Church conference next year.

Despite a campaign for a zero-waste Sinulog, 197 tons of garbage were collected after this year’s festivity, more than what was gathered last year.

Meanwhile, are you still reading this news summary on a PC or laptop? We’d like to invite you to try viewing it on a phone. We made sure this site works well on a phone. You can then start your day right by opening www.mycebu.ph on your phone to get a rundown of the day’s top Cebu news and read our other stories.

Here are the top Cebu news stories for January 20, 2015:

Pope Francis invited to Cebu for International Eucharistic Congress in 2016

Philippine church officials are hoping Pope Francis will return to the country to attend the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) that will be held in Cebu in January next year. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said they are hoping the Pope would come and that he would bring the invitation up again when he meets him in Rome next month.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, according to a Cebu Daily News report, “draws hope from hints from the Vatican that Pope Francis is interested to attend the conference in Cebu.”

WILL POPE VISIT CEBU NEXT YEAR? Pope Francis looks to the crowd sending him off at the Villamor Airbase before entering the plane that took him to Rome yesterday. Local Church officials are hoping that the Pope will return to the country next year to attend the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu in January. (Malacañang Photo)

WILL POPE VISIT CEBU NEXT YEAR? Pope Francis looks to the crowd sending him off at the Villamor Airbase before entering the plane that took him to Rome yesterday. Local Church officials are hoping that the Pope will return to the country next year to attend the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu in January. (Malacañang Photo)

“I told him to visit the Philippines during the IEC and the Holy Father told me: ‘Pray that I’m still alive by that time and that I still have enough strength (to travel). I couldn’t help but laugh at his remark.” — Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma on a conversation with the Pope before his recent visit to the country.

The IEC 2016 was originally scheduled in May but moved to January 25 to 31 since the Pope’s schedule was full in May.

“Kung pupunta siya, wow, salamat. Pero sa ngayon, gusto ng Santo Papa na bumalik muna sa Roma para makapaghinga.” — Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

“I am very optimistic nga moari siya sa 2016, judging from the people nga misugat niya ug katong mitambong sa kaihokan sa Manila… We should pray nga mobalik siya.” — Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III.

“I know that popes do not attend the IEC. In all the IECs that I have attended from India, Europe, Poland to Rome, to America, there’s no attendance of a pope, only a representative.” — Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, who said he would love to personally invite the Pope here.

“While it is true that popes do not normally come to the IEC, IEC 2016 in Cebu merits a special consideration.” — Cebu Archdiocese media liaison officer Msgr. Joseph Tan, pointing out that Pope Francis is known as the “Pope of Surprises”

Huge Sinulog crowd overwhelms police, volunteers; 197 tons of trash gathered after Grand Parade

Crowd control has always been a key challenge of the Sinulog Grand Parade. This year, the huge turnout overwhelmed police and volunteers.

“We managed the crowd in the morning but at 2:30 p.m., they grew in number so we were overwhelmed. Some people who crossed the pedestrian crossing zones spilled over to the carousel route since they cannot head to the provided exit due to lack of space.” — Tinago Barangay Captain Joel Garganera, Sinulog crowd control committee head

The city designated 26 pedestrian zones to allow people to cross the carousel route without disturbing contingents joining the grand parade.

“At 4 p.m., the crowd was already unmanageable along Mango Avenue where house music was already blaring near the carousel route and people just wanted to be festive and dance.” — Joel Garganera

Acting Cebu City police chief Senior Supt. Conrad Capa suggested that the number of police personnel be doubled to better manage the crowd.

“Though some of the zones became ineffective, I would like to commend the officers who served as human barricades since they never lost their temper despite the heat.” — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

Despite a Zero-Waste Sinulog campaign, revelers left 197 tons of garbage on the city’s streets, more than the 170 tons collected last year.

It took 1,000 workers, 13 garbage trucks and 11 hours to clear the streets of trash, a City Hall official said.

“Bisan pag butangan og trash bin ang carousel route, way control ang mga tawo. Wa sad mi control sa mga tawo.” — Department of Public Services chief Rolando Ardosa. (Even if we placed trash bins along the carousel route, people showed no control. And we couldn’t control them either)

Other Sinulog stories:

“The crowd in Manila is expecting more from Sinulog every year, that’s why we have to make sure that our representative can maintain the standard.” — Sinulog Foundation Inc. executive director Ricky Ballesteros

Meanwhile…

Were you among the 700 issued with citation for throwing trash, urinating in public etc? City Hall said you better settle that fine to avoid getting issued a warrant of arrest. Read The Freeman’s story here.

“Mas nindot kun i-settle dayon na nila para wala nay problema. Kun walay ikabayad, puwede ra mag-community service. Mas dali kun i-settle kaysa makasohan nato sila.” — Cebu City Environmental Sanitation Enforcement Team Chief Grace Luardo

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