BAD weather failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the devotees of the SeÃ±or Sto. NiÃ±o, as close to 90 vessels have already registered for Saturdayâ€™s fluvial procession.
The coming in of new registrants prompted the Cebu Coast Guard (CG), the fluvialâ€™s lead organizer, to extend its registration deadline to 12 noon Friday.
The deadline was set at 3 p.m. last Thursday with only 71 seacrafts registering for the fluvial parade.
However, the number rose to 86 yesterday as boat operators or their official representatives insisted to have their seacrafts registered for the procession.
With this trend, the fluvial, which gives honor to the Holy Child Jesus and commemorates the arrival of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to Cebu in 1521, is expected to match theÂ yearly average of participating vessels to over 100.
The figure already includes non-registered seacrafts, which will be placed at the rear end of the flotilla to avoid a mix-up in the formation.
â€œWe may even have to extend the registration this afternoon. But itâ€™s the discretion of our boss,â€ said Cebu CG Deputy Chief Virgilio Tibayan Friday.
Tibayan cited the importance of the registration of vessels, as the operators will be briefed on the importance of the CGâ€™s safety guidelines.
These guidelines include the requirement of life vests on board, the banning of firecrackers and overloading of passengers, he said.
Tibayan reiterated the call for the boat registrants to be at the assembly area under the old Mactan-Mandaue Bridge before the 6 a.m. kick off time.
The flotilla, which will navigate the Mactan channel, will start from Ouano wharf in Mandaue City and end at Pier 1 in Cebu City.
The lead pack will have to make a turn first at Muelle OsmeÃ±a pier and General Milling compound in Lapu-Lapu City side and under the old Mactan-Mandaue Bridge before heading towards Cebu City.
The CG already advised shipping firms on the closure of the south and north entrances of the Mactan channel for the two-hour event.
Tibayan said he observed fair weather condition in the morning for the past two days and he hoped that this will continue for Saturdayâ€™s activity.
Meanwhile, the CG reported that rough seas cancelled the trips of at least 14 cargo and passenger ships plying the Santander-Dumaguete City route last Thursday. (GC/Sun.Star Cebu)