By Virgilio L. Orquiola
ILOILO CITY,Jan. 18 (PNA)- Close to 3,000 devotees attended the pilgrim mass in honor of Sr. Sto Nino de Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival 2015.
Amid the cold atmosphere brought about by cloudy skies, people trooped early this morning at the Kalibo Pastrana Park and at the stage constructed just outside the St. John the Baptist Cathedral where mass was being officiated by Bishop Jose Corazon Talaoc along with other priests.
In the said mass, Bishop Talaoc announced his immediate departure back to Metro Manila for the Sunday afternoon mass to be officiated by Pope Francis at Luneta Park.
The Bishop also told the faithful that the message of visiting Pope Francis in the country dubbed “Mercy and Compassion” may always dwell in the hearts of every one of us even as he is scheduled to go back to Vatican on Monday.
The pilgrim mass is considered the highlight of yearly Ati-Atihan Festival being visited by people, Devotee of the Holy Child Jesus, participating tribes and those who want to witness the so-called “Mother of All Philippine Festivals.
Apart from those who want to join the merrymaking or ‘sad-sad sa kalye,’ scores of devotees believed with the devotion to Sr. Sto. Nino de Kalibo will bless them with a child and cure their illness as proven by testimonies of many devotees.
After the pilgrim mass, the traditional roar of “Viva kay Senor Sto. Nino” was heard followed by the deafening sound of bass drums indicating the start of merrymaking.
Meanwhile, winners in tribes street dancing competition will be known in an awarding ceremonies to be held early this evening at the Magsaysay Park at the town plaza. (PNA)