Devotee City 2014

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.

13 thoughts on “Devotee City 2014

  1. Is that not so terrible for the people to sleep in that very tiny space of very warm container as their sleeping quarter(even if it’s only temporary)? Why can’t the government just creat a kind of an open tent for the devotees who are not from Cebu or to those who have no else to sleep during the Sto. Niño novenas?And they must also provide some hygienic places for example like public toilets & washing areas for them!Is that not a good idea to do that?How many gov’t officials are there in Cebu alone & no one among them who could ever think of this kind of way to comfort the other visitors/devotees who couldn’t find accommotions in the City?I wonder why!That’s just my opinion!

    1. I actually find this disgraceful, really. I am sure they could have better solved these accommodation problems if they tried hard enough to actually plan them out before the events. If someone ever raised awareness of this, I hope the government listens and build up better shelters reserved solely for these special occasions. These cargo shelters are really off-putting for visitors, I reckon.

  2. i do believe that the gov’t should provide tents for them, for now they can’t afford to stay in a hotel, i’m sure there’s cr nearby, besides it’s located near a supermarket…. so, they’ll be fine with God’s help.

  3. Thanks for sharing but it is depressing. The people would look like caged animals. I’m sure the city can afford better temporary humane shelters.

  4. These aren’t places to stay! It gets hot in there and these “cargo” boxes would get heated up very badly. It’s disappointing, really. They look just – bad; for the left-overs; they don’t look like human shelters. And they must stink in there, with rust and such. If this is the best the government provides for them, well, they need to come up with better and more humane accommodations in the future.

  5. To stay and sleep in a container (shown here) is truly a sacrifice for the devotees! I guess it’s better than sleeping on the streets. However, I agree with all the opinions here that the government should provide tents and portable potty stations for those attending.

    This reminded of pictures of Filipinos living in the crypts of cemeteries in Metro Manila. They put the dead bones on the side and that’s where they live! A very sad sight and a very creepy sight 🙁 .

    1. If I were to choose, I’d rather sleep in an open sidewalks(with a group of people)rather than staying in that very hot container without windows. Cebu’s weather is tropical & if two people are lying down in there for just 1 hour ,they’d probably turned themselves into a lechon baboy, can experience coughs & certainly can inhale the smell of rust too which in the long run not good for the lungs as well.I hope that for next year’s Sto. Niño Fiesta the organisers of this event can maybe come up in a better idea how to make the visitors/devotees who can’t get accommodations in the city at least feel comfortable of their stay in Cebu & not using those containers again as their temporary shelters.Just my opinion only!

  6. Ok na yan kaysa sa wala safe pa, di naman yta pinipilit, di mag hotel. Kung ayaw, Sa panahon ngayun na malamig .mahirap matulog sa sidewalk paano kung ma rape kyo o holdapin .at least may bantay dun.

  7. I have a suggestion though(in regards of making the pilgrims/devotees who couldn’t find accommodations for next year’s Sto. Niño Fiesta)if someone/anyone/everyone/everybody would agree with it that the organisers(of this fiesta) must try to collect(while it’s still early,money to buy for tents or let the benefactors voluntarily donate some tents by themselves)so the devotees/pilgrims have also a comfortable place to stay while they are in Cebu instead of sleeping(for few days) in that very tiny space warm containers.I’m pretty sure that there are so many people out there in Cebu(alone)who are so kind enough & very willing(hopefully)to do this kind of sacrifice for the sake of Patron Saint Sr. Sto. NiÑo!Even if we’ll just say a1.00 p/day contribution(from each individual) who’ll visit the church is maybe counted already as an offer to be reckoned with(as long as it’s heartily given).What do you think folks?Is this not a good idea? I’m willing to contribute something too!

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