‘Simple’ revelry for Jaro Fiesta due to lack of time and funds 

The Jaro belfry is an imposing structure and view from the Jaro Cathedral. All eyes are now on Jaro district for its annual fiesta. (Photo courtesy of Berniemack Arellano)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor 

The feast of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria in Jaro district this year will witness a simple celebration due to limited budget and time constraints.

“It’s a simple celebration because of time and financial constraints,” said Rodel Mamon, the resident of Jaro district Association of Barangay Captains (ABC), in an interview with Aksyon Radyo Iloilo on Tuesday.

Mamon said barangay captains have minimal time for proper preparations, citing the barangay elections in October last year and the Dinagyang Festival that just concluded last week.

Unlike the previous year, the upcoming celebration will exclude prominent events such as the Jaro Fiesta Queen and the Jaro Agro-Industrial Fair.

However, the traditional civic parade will proceed as scheduled at 3 p.m. on January 31.

Parade attendees will be organized into three groups, each with designated assembly areas.

The parade route will traverse Libertad, Fajardo, Lopez-Jaena, Commission Civil Streets to Del Carmen, E. Lopez Streets to the Reviewing Stand in front of Jaro Plaza. Around 30 floats from schools will reportedly join the parade.

“Wala gid kami pondo. Nagbuligay lang ang mga kapitan nga madayun ang opening parada sa buwas,” he added.

Mamon said that since there is no coronation night, ABC-Jaro has invited Miss Jaro 2023 Maraya Veronica V. Alcoran and Miss MDC Globe Philippines 2023 Hitomi Pangilinan to join the parade.

He noted that while this year’s celebration may be simpler, ABC-Jaro will deliver a more festive event next year, with preparations starting as early as October.

On February 1, Solemn Liturgical Activities on the Vesperas of the Solemnity of Nuestra Señora dela Candelaria will take place with the eucharistic celebration, presided by His Excellency, Most Rev. Midyphil B. Billones, D.D., Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu.

It will be followed by the Coronation Rite of Nuestra Señora dela Candelaria at the Cathedral-Shrine Balcony with Rev. Fr. Jose Alberto E. Guillen, Priest-Moderator of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Candles, and His Grace, Most Rev. Jose Romeo O. Lazo, D.D., as presiding ministers.

Perdon candles, considered miraculous and used in times of calamities, are now available at Jaro Cathedral priced at P35 per piece within the Cathedral and city parishes, and a ceiling price of P40 per piece for those sold outside Iloilo City.

Regarding the rerouting plan on January 31 and February 2, Iloilo City Traffic Management Unit head Uldarico Garbanzos said that he reviewed the city’s traffic plan from the previous year and identified areas for improvement.