Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bulacan braces for influx of tourists, pilgrims

Biak-na-Bato National Park, San Miguel, Bulacan. DB

MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan—Police are now coordinating with different civic groups in a bid to step-up “Oplan: Summer Vacation” as the province began to brace for the influx of tourists and pilgrims this summer time and Holy Week.

Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said Public Assistance Centers are being established  in key areas where people will converge.

“Assist the people politely and make them feel safe and very much welcome in Bulacan,” Alvarado told policemen and public assistance volunteers as the province braces for the expected influx of tourists and visitors this summer and Lenten season.

Alvarado said that Bulacan has virtually become a magnet for tourists, both domestic and foreign, during summer because of its scenic spots, historical sites and crowd drawing cultural practices as well as pilgrimage sites during Holy Week.

“We want to make sure that the public will enjoy their stay in our great province and have a grabnd vacation stay enjoying our hospitality and scenic spots,” Alvarado said.

He said that the Bulacan police headed by Senior Supt. Joel Orduna and various civic organizations are holding meetings in preparation for their Operation Sumvac (summer vacation.
DRT road trip. BMF
Alvarado said Public Assistance Centers will be set up in major convergience points and areas where pilgrims are expected to go this Holy Week and summer vacation.

The provincial chief executive said that Bulacan is home to at least 236 resorts and numerous places were traditional as well as bloody Lenten rituals attract multitude of people.

He said that outdoor activities are also expected to increase since some towns have spruced up their resorts particularly those located along the Angat River.

Local businesses are also expected to make a killing since Bulacan is known for their delicacies and other foodstuff. Alvarado also said that fruits of the season and other farm products like turnips, mangoes and peanuts are also abundant and is now being harvested and sold.

Meanwhile, Bulacan police director Sr. Supt. Orduna  said maneuver platoons from the Provincial Public safety company will augment local policemen along major thouroughfares and in crowd drawing sites in the different parts of the province.

Multitudes are also expected to flock the Catholic Chapel in the farming village of Bgy. Kapitangan in Paombong town where faith healers are being nailed to a wooden cross at a man-made Goltha as well as to witness hundreds of bareback flagellants whipping their bloodied bodies.

This early, pilgrims by the thousands have already began streaking to the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Bgy. Sta. Rosa I mainly due to the mysterious image of Jesus Christ which was caught by a CCTV.

Meyto shrine, Calumpit, Bulacan. DB

Parish Priest Fr. Prospero “Pros” Tenorio said that the number of devotees has began to increased a day after the CCTV footage showing the mysterious image of Jesus Christ—similar to the Divine Mercy image—was broadcast in National TV and at You-Tube.

“I still cannot say if it’s a miracle or an apparition of our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s for the Bishop to Decide and after an investigation the final say will be the Vatican,” Fr. Tenorio said.

The parish priest said that he was the one who discovered the mysterious image –a radiant white streak of light similar to the image of the Divine Mercy—at around 11:00 pm on March 3. He said that the first image was caught by one of the CCTV camera at around 9:00 where workers were putting a purple curtain at the back of the image of a crucified Jesus Christ—the centerpiece holy icon  at the main altar of  St. Faustina hall at the Divine Mercy Shrine.

What makes the footage mysterious was when the lights were shutted-off at around 10:30pm but the radiant image still remain and recorded up to 6:00 am of the following day (March 4).

Fr. Tenorio also showed the footage to video expert  Clyde Villegas who admitted that he was also amazed on what he saw.
Villegas said he looked for possible sources of light that could have produced the image but it was pitch dark in the area during that time.

He said that he looked at the back of the altar where a mosiac of tainted colored glass featuring the image of St. Faustina, Blessed Pope John Paul II and the Divine mercy Image of Jesus Crist  was located.

“It was already  impossible for  a light to penetrate the tainted glass at night time and it is definitely impossible if it was also covered by a thick purple curtain, the image is really a mystery,” he said.

Orduna said that police teams and Public Assistance Centers will also be put up at the Grotto Shrine in San Jose del Monte City.

Pilgrims are also expected to come in droves at “Banal na Bundok” in San Miguel town where lifesize statues depicting the Way of the Cross are situated. And if the skies is clear, vistors at the “Banal na Bundok” can see a mountain that looks like a “Sleeping Jesus Christ”.—EMIL G. GAMOS, PNA

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