The popular Jaro district fiesta in Iloilo City on February 2 will no longer be that “big” this year due to the coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, pandemic.
While the annual celebration will push through, the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) in Jaro decided to forego some of the major activities such as the carnival, Fiesta Queen coronation, and Agro-Industrial and Charity Fair.
According to ABC-Jaro President Edwin L. Divinagracia, in lieu of the traditional Agro-Industrial and Charity Fair, they have allowed a “plant fair” which started as early as January 6, 2021 until February 6 at the Jaro plaza.
The religious aspect of the fiesta, however, cannot be just forgone. Marian devotees for the Feast of the Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria (Our Lady of Candles) can still hear actual masses.
Divinagracia said there will be scheduled masses for two days from February 1 to 2.
But he emphasized that everything will be subjected to COVID-19 minimum health protocols. There will be limitation inside the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral while police officers and compliance officers will be deployed to make sure that health protocols, especially social distancing, are being complied.
The ABC president added that since they could not stop others from preparing a feast at home, he advised all their member punong barangays to remind their constituents to limit their visitors, or better enjoy the food feast with family members only.
To recall, every year prior to the pandemic, thousands of people, especially Candelaria devotees, are attending the Jaro fiesta./WDJ