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A “mammoth” crowd joined the penitential procession, also called “Walk with Jesus,” this morning. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said the number of procession participants is a “barometer” that the Sinulog celebration this year will be a “huge success.” The mayor said he expects the participants during the procession to also join the grand parade, and double the crowd that will watch the Sinulog event on Jan. 16.

Sinulog Foundation Inc. officials had said that they expect more than two million people to watch the Sinulog grand parade. Meanwhile, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Melvin Buenafe said there is no gun ban during the Sinulog festivities.

During the mass—the first of a series of nine novena masses—following the procession, Sto. Niño devotees were reminded not to engage in too many rituals but to create a balance between performing religious rituals and keeping Christian values.