Cebu gears up for Statio Orbis

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CEBU City, Jan. 30, 2016— Cardinal Charles Maung Bo is capping his visit to the Philippines in a fitting way— Mass for the masses on Cebu City’s South Road Properties (SRP).

The first cardinal of Myanmar is expected to see the largest gathering of his one week tour on Sunday when he celebrates an outdoor Mass at 4pm to close the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC).

More than 1.5 million people are expected for the Mass, along with more than 15,000 cardinals, bishops, priests, the religious and official IEC delegates from at least 75 nations around the world.

Local IEC organizers earlier hinted a message from Pope Francis at the gathering. However, it is still not clear as of this posting whether it will be through live feed or taped video.

“Let us be surprised by Pope Francis who will speak to us. I think that is what we should look forward to,” Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, who heads the IEC’s communications committee, earlier said.

Anticipating a mammoth of crowd, the SRP area will be opened to the public as early in the morning.

Local authorities have also outlined their steps for the crowd and traffic control for the Mass.

At least 200 parking lots for buses ferrying parishioners along the 1.4-kilometer stretch beside Pond F. and another 100 slots along Pardo Access Road.

“Traffic Routes at the SRP will not be closed except for huge container vans and trucks while the activity is going on,” organizers said.

This means  that only the buses of the delegates and the vehicles of the VIPs and other committee in charge are allowed to park near the Templete.

Those travelling via buses and jeepneys from the South of Cebu are advised to travel up to the Kawit Island area only. Buses are available at the area to shuttle the pilgrims to the SRP Templete,

Those coming via buses and jeepneys from the North of Cebu are advised to travel up to the Maritima Building (near the City Hall area) area only. Buses are available at the area to shuttle the pilgrims to the SRP Templete.

Those travelling via private and light vehicles may enter the SRP area and use the available parking space at SM Seaside City.

The organizers issued an advisory for those attending the Mass “to bring with them their own chairs since the ones being prepared are reserved to the IEC 2016 Delegates only.”  (Roy Lagarde / CBCP News)

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