Tens of thousands are expected to show their devotion to St. John Bosco even as officers of the Bosconian International Chamber of Commerce (BICC) Cebu chapter begins preparation for the arrival of the saint’s relic in Cebu in central Philippines on December 12, 2010.
The relic is now brought around in an international pilgrimage and expected to arrive in Bacolod City in the neighboring Philippine island of Negros on December 5, 2010. It will then travel by land around the island before it will cross the Tanon strait to the southern tip of Cebu island on December 12, 2010, which is a Sunday.
From the southernmost town of Santander, Cebu, the relic will be motored on a specially-made van through 11 towns and cities to the island’s capital Cebu City. A convoy of devotees from Cebu City will accompany the van.
In a meeting with Salesian priest Fr. Fidel Orendain SDB last November 5, 2010, the BICC Cebu officers committed to assist in projecting in the local media the message of devotion for Saint John Bosco, putting up posters and tarpaulins, and coordinating with the police and local government officials to ensure proper control of the expected big crowds.
Fr. Orendain gave particular concern to limiting the spread of publicity materials so as not to over-saturate Cebu and to focus on prayer and devotion as well as how to maintain order with the expected big turnout of devotees to the saint.
Accounts on the relic’s visit in the United States and Canada reported that huge crowds of devotees came out to welcome the saint in the streets and in the venues where vigils were scheduled.
Although traffic on a Sunday in Cebu’s southern towns is normally light, the relics will pass through several churches located along the long Natalio Bacalso National Highway which are overflowing with town folks hearing mass. The crowds already gathered in the churches are expected to wait for the van carrying the relic.