Since the Pope already recently visited the Philippines, he is less likely to visit Cebu next year for the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), according to a Vatican envoy. Still, the Cebu Archdiocese remains hopeful that the Pope will consider attending the congress.

This afternoon, a grand staging of the Kaplag reenactment or the discovery of the Sto. Niño de Cebu will be held in downtown Cebu City.

For the SM Seaside City, the Cebu City Council has endorsed eight bus stations for the high-quality public transport system (HQPTS) route from the South Road Properties to the North Reclamation Area.

Tribu Lumad Basakanon, representing the Sinulog of Cebu City may have failed to defend its title in the 13th Aliwan Festival in Pasay City last Saturday after coming out second next to Manaragat Festival (Tribu Katbalaugan) from Catbalogan, Samar, but for the group, it was their best performance since they started joining the national festival competition.

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Here are the top stories for today, April 27, 2015:

Cebu to reenact Sto. Niño de Cebu discovery; heavy traffic expected in downtown Cebu City this afternoon

Parts of downtown Cebu City have been transformed into a pre-Hispanic village as part of this afternoon’s reenactment of the Kaplag or the discovery of the Sto. Niño de Cebu, the country’s oldest religious icon.

Cebu Daily News reported that 300 local actors and actresses will be joining the reenactment that is being supervised by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

Renowned Cebuano choreographer Val Sandiego, award-winning playwright Floy Quintos, and Trina Cayabyab– daughter of renowned composer Ryan Cayabyab — are working together to stage the performance that will show the Christianization of the Philippines that started in Cebu.

A 5:30 p.m. mass that will be presided by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle at the Basilica del Sto. Niño will follow the reenactment.

Authorities warn of heavy downtown traffic with roads around the Basilica being closed to vehicle traffic.

“I’d like to tell all Cebuanos that this is a very big event. Everybody should take part in the celebrations. The next time we’ll have a celebration as grandiose as this will be in 2065. I just can’t wait for another 50 years because I may no longer be alive by that time. Let’s, therefore, make the most out of this.” — Augustinian priest Fr. Harold Rentoria, executive director of the 450th Kaplag celebration, as quoted by Cebu Daily News

No papal visit in 2016?

“At a certain point the Holy Father has expressed intentions of going to Cebu for the Congress because it is a tradition. It’s a tradition that the Holy Father attends the Eucharistic Congresses. Because the IEC requires the presence of the bishop of Rome. Given that the Holy Father has already come to the Philippines, I doubt if he will be able to be here since he already visited the victims of the typhoons.” –Vatican envoy Monsignor Piero Marini

Pope Francis also has several trips to different countries this year and in 2016. Cebu will host the 51st IEC in January 2016.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said that the pope might consider returning to the country.

The Pope came to the Philippines in January 2015 to visit Tacloban and Manila to personally pray for and bless super typhoon Yolanda survivors.

“Up to the last minute we are not sure yet. Originally, there was really intention pero with what happened, the typhoon and earthquake, he came. Still we are hoping because one possibility is that if he comes to a country in Asia, because of a big event, he might pass by. We are not sure unless there is final word.” — Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma

SRP bus stations identified

In its session last week, the council identified the following bus stations for the HQPTS:

  • Inside the SM Seaside City at the SRP
  • SM City Cebu at the NRA
  • South Coastal Road near Fort San Pedro
  • Near Compaña Maritima
  • N. Bacalso Avenue near Cebu Institute of Technology-University,
  • City de Mari’s residential area
  • II Corso

These locations were endorsed to the Office of the Mayor, the city’s Department of Engineering and Public Works, and the Cebu-BRT project implementation unit for evaluation and approval.

The proposed HQPTS route would be from Talisay City to Mambaling in Cebu City, Talisay City to the NRA, Talisay City to the MCIA, and the Cebu North Bus Terminal at the NRA to Mambaling.

It is seen to accommodate a maximum of 1.35 million passengers a week.

Lumad Basakanon

Lumad Basakanon, shown here performing during the Sinulog Grand Parade last January in Cebu CIty, wins second place in Aliwan. (Photo by Catherine Angeles, Sinulog Photo Contest 2015 grand prize winner. Used with permission from Sinulog Foundation, Inc.)

Cebu’s Basakanon is crowd favorite in Aliwan

Tribu Lumad Basakanon of Barangay San Nicolas was declared second placer of the Aliwan’s street dancing competition.

Basakanon also won best in costume and best in musical accompaniment.

The group holds a Hall of Fame title from Aliwan for bagging three consecutive wins. It decided to join again last year after a few years of not joining the competition.

“We have been dislodged from the throne and it’s a lesson learned and a challenge to Basakanon.” — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama

For Sinulog Foundation Inc. executive director Ricky Ballesteros, Basakanon was still the crowd’s favorite.

Sinulog Festival Queen represented by Gazinni Christiana Ganados also won second runner-up in the Reyna ng Aliwan search.

She also won minor awards such as dazzling beauty of the night, best in evening gown and best in festival costume.

Other top Cebu News stories:

Sun.Star Cebu: One-year repairs on Fort to start in June

The Freeman: Police eye more men behind P10M robbery

The Freeman: 2 construction workers arrested for uprooting Narra trees in SRP

The Freeman: PB Member Thadeo Ouano to work on merging 2 Mandaue City College campuses next year

Sun.Star Cebu: Banca from Moalboal capsizes off La Libertad, Negros Oriental; 6 rescued

Cebu Business headlines:

Sun.Star Cebu: Focus on emerging bestsellers

The Freeman: Local bourse encourages Cebu firms to go public

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