‘Balyuan’ rites cancelled in Tacloban, Basey

Published June 19, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Marie Tonette Marticio

TACLOBAN City – With the increasing number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Eastern Visayas, the city government of Tacloban, with the Sto. Nino Parish Church and the local government of Basey, Samar, and its parish churches, have decided to cancel the 46th Pre-Balyuan and Balyuan rites on June 20.

The Pre-Balyuan and Balyuan rites reenact the historical swapping of Sto. Niño images between Tacloban and Basey town in Samar.

It marks the start of the first day of the nine-day novena prayer and mass in honor of Tacloban’s patron Sr. Sto. Nino de Tacloban on June 30.

On the other hand, novena masses for the 131st Sto. Nino Fiesta celebration will push through starting June 20 and until June 30.

Mayor Alfred Romualdez has likewise ordered to cancel other yearly activities relative to the celebration, including the Sangyaw Festival Parade of Lights.

The Sangyaw Festival is the city’s official festival. It was revived in 2008 by the mayor after Tacloban was declared as a highly urbanized city (HUC). Sangyaw is a local term, which means “to herald news.”

Meanwhile, Tacloban City has already reported 22 COVID-19 cases, while Basey, Samar, with 20 cases, has imposed a one-day restrictive movement within the town on Thursday, June 18.

Basey Mayor Luz Chu-Ponferrada asked her constituents to stay home as work in the local government has been suspended and the issuance of travel pass and health certificate. She also ordered the temporary closure of all establishments.