Antipolo LGU, police prepare for surge of pilgrims

After the successful conduct of the 25th anniversary of the cityhood of Antipolo with thousands of participants joining a huge parade recently, authorities in this Pilgrimage Capital of the Country are now preparing for the surge of pilgrims who will pay homage to the Nuestra Señora Dela Paz Y Buenviaje enshrined in the International Shrine of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage.

Police said the recently held cityhood parade of floats featuring Disney characters, joined by thousands from Sumulong Park to Ynares Center ground, was generally peaceful but caused traffic in the city proper.

Some motorists and commuters had to bear the inconvenience of having to walk to their destination due to the road closures that prevented public utility vehicles from transporting their passengers to and from the city proper.

Some traffic enforcers said that the traffic gridlock from the parade can serve as a lesson for them to improve traffic management as a bigger crowd is expected during the upcoming Alay Lakad.

The office of Mayor Casimiro “Junjun” Ynares III said several non-government organizations, schools, and villages have participated in the annual event to celebrate the creation of the city 25 years ago.

Another big event is coming in May, with street dancing competition among school participants giving color to the activity. Drum and lyre bands and brass bands will hold a parade during the event that will signal the start of the Maytime Pilgrimage Season from May to July.

Antipolo’s chief of police, Lt. Col. June Paolo Abrazado, had earlier said the Holy Thursday and Good Friday’s Alay  Lakad would generate some 3.5 million people or even more as people who failed to attend the activity during the past years of the pandemic, will now again participate.

Mar Bacani of the Tourism Office of the Antipolo City government said the programs and activities for the Maytime Festival 2023 have yet to be released by the office of the mayor.

Bacani said in the recent float parade, Barangay Mambugan with its entry of A Bug’s Life won the grand prize of P200,000 followed by
Barangay Bagong Nayon (P150,000) with its entry of Up; and Barangay San Isidro’s Finding Nemo entry which won P100,000.

The tourism officer said busloads of pilgrims were arriving daily to visit Antipolo’s International shrine.