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On and off rains continue to batter Cebu as the public is warned to brace for a wet week ahead amid the celebration of the Sinulog Festival with the Grand Parade, the major highlight, only five days away.

Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) Executive Director Ricky Ballesteros said they are advising participants to the street parade to don the necessary footwear due to the rains. “Because of the rainy weather, we are recommending to the contingents to be careful especially of the slippery road conditions and to wear the necessary shoes,” Ballesteros said. Ballesteros added that a medical team is also on standby in strategic areas of the parade route to attend to any emergency.

PAG-ASA Cebu on the other hand, assured the public that there is no impending typhoon but that the continuing moderate to heavy rains and thunderstorms is a result of the tail-end of the cold front in the Visayas area.

The increasing number of devotees to the Señor Sto. Niño who will participate in the solemn foot procession on Saturday, January 15 are also advised to bring umbrella and wear jacket. Police estimates the crowd to join the foot procession at two million and more than the said figure to line the street parade route on Sunday.

Despite the rains, thousands of devotees to the Little Child Jesus continue to flock the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño every day following the start of the nine-day novena mass that began last Thursday.

Ten novena masses are heard daily at the Sto. Niño Church to accommodate the tens of thousands of devotees to the Sto. Niño with the crowd extending outside the church perimeters as the main road leading to the Basilica’s main entrance has been closed to vehicles.

As one devotee would say “Rain or shine, I will continue my devotion to the miraculous Sto. Niño and this is one way of showing it to him by completing the nine-day novena mass.”

Archbishop Jose Palma who will be installed as Cebu’s new prelate on Thursday, January 13, will lead the Pontifical Mass with the assistance of several bishops on Sunday, the feast day of Señor Sto. Niño.