City Gov’t leads Pre-Balyuan Rites
TACLOBAN CITY – Scores of devotees participated in the Pre-Balyuan Rites held today, June 16, 2017. Considered as a prelude religious rite to the historical swapping of Sto. Niño images between Tacloban and the town of Basey in Samar, it started with a motorcade which traveled all the way to the Western Samar Municipality.
The convoy which departed for Basey, 8:00 am included devotees of Sto. Niño de Tacloban and City Government Officials and employees led by City Administrator Atty. Irene Chiu, along with more than 40 vehicles.
It made the 28 kilometer-land travel to Brgy. Buscada for the religious rites commemorating the exchange of Sto. Niño images between Tacloban and the Municipality of Basey.
The Motorcade featured the revered image of the El Teniente – a replica of the Sto. Nino de Tacloban –the primary object of the Balyu-an reenactment.
Upon arrival at Brgy. Buscada the faithful and the town’s Cultural Performers greeted the delegation from Tacloban with a ritual performance.
After which, the motorcade around the town proper of Basey followed, and a Holy Mass was said at the Old Buscada Church attended by Tacloban City Government Officials and Basey Mayor Igmedio Junjie Ponferrada
The image of El Teniente will stay for several days in Basey Town and will be returned only to Tacloban through a fluvial procession on June 20 for the solemn reenactment of the Balyu-an Rites at the Balyu-an Amphitheater.
The Balyu-an rites on June 20 will signal the start of the nine-day novena mass for the City’s 128th Fiesta Celebration.
It commemorates a religious tradition that can be traced back to the time when Tacloban was but a mere Sitio of Basey Town. As Kankabatok—the early name of Tacloban—grew in prominence it was decided by the parish priest of Basey to swap their bigger image of the Sto. Nino with the smaller image of the former. – HENRY JAMES G. ROCA/CIO, Photos by Mike Espina/CIO