Each year, millions converge in Cebu for the celebration of the biggest religious festival in the Visayas. With the overflowing number of visitors, Cebu’s guest accommodations are easily filled to the rafters. Despite this fact, a good number of our brothers and sisters from neighboring islands still travel to Cebu to pay homage to Sr. Santo Niño. And they pack their bags and get on the first Cebu-bound boat they find even though there is a big possibility that they will be sleeping in the sidewalks when they reach the city. In fact, a lot of devotees from the provinces do not mind sleeping in the streets for a couple of nights at all. What is important is that they get to dance the Sinulog and celebrate with the rest of Cebu.
To remedy this situation (especially since it’s storm season, too) the city government has come up with the ‘Devotee City’ project. Each year, a certain spot near the port area is set up to accommodate pilgrims from nearby provinces. The project aims to house devotees who have no relatives in the city and those who could not afford decent accommodations. The sleeping quarters at the Devotee City aren’t topnotch but I’m sure you understand the intention.
For those who do not know about this, let me show you this year’s Devotee City.
The 2014 Devotee City in Cebu.
City Hall workers busy setting up the temporary shelter of devotees who are expected to arrive before the weekend.
This year, the ‘city’ is located in between the Campania Maritima heritage building and the La Nueva Supermarket.
View of the two-storey sleeping quarters.
The units on the second floor can be accessed using these ladders.
Temporary home. It’s not much but it’s better than the sidewalks.