Over 6,000 young people have completed their registration for the National Youth Day (NYD) to be held in Cebu from April 23 to April 28 this year. Krishna Jacalan, general secretariat of NYD, said there are 6,224 national pilgrims that have successfully registered, stressing that many more are expected since there are thousands of pilgrims from Cebu that have not yet tabulated. Fr. Mark Barneso, team leader of NYD’s National Organizing Committee- Steering Team, said the registration for the religious event will no longer be extended considering that organizers will have less than three months to prepare. To recall, the organizers have initially slated the deadline for the registration last month but they yielded to the request of several dioceses to extend the deadline and was scheduled on January 23, 2019. Fr. Barneso said organizers are now stepping up their preparations to ensure the success of the big religious event in Cebu. With limited budget, the organizers requested Archbishop Jose Palma for them to be allowed to issue a mission appeal to all parishes in the municipalities and cities of Cebu. Palma already allowed organizers to seek assistance from all parishes here. Fr. Barneso urged all Cebuanos to extend financial or any kind of assistance for the success of NYD 2019. Aside from the financial assistance needed for this event, Fr. Barneso said the church needs the hospitalities of the Cebuanos considering that most pilgrims will be lodged with host or foster families from the town of Lilo-an to Naga City. These foster families will shoulder the accommodation, food, and transportation allowance of the pilgrims for five days. Fr. Barneso expressed his hopes that the generosity of Cebuanos will assist the local organizers in welcoming pilgrims from different parts of the country. Cebuanos are asked to coordinate with their churches if they want to be foster families. As for the financial help, anyone can contact the Commission on Youth with these digits 520-5234.
Meanwhile, NYD’s Steering Team Facilitator Frankel Margallo said young people will expect several activities within the five-day event. Margallo said pilgrims will be welcomed by the strong faith of Cebuanos to Señor Sto. Niño, adding that young people will reflect the true meaning of NYD especially that the event will be held in time for the commemoration of the battle between local chieftain Lapu-Lapu and Portuguese navigator, Ferdinand Magellan, and the Christianity’s arrival in the Philippines for almost 500 years. He said this is the first time that Cebu will host NYD which is also timely since the Philippine Catholic Church will focus on its pastoral thrust on the “Year of the Youth” this year. |Bryner Laurito Diaz