SUMVAC festival highlights Baguio as city of prayer

BAGUIO CITY – Baguio City highlights its status as a city of prayer and retreat when “Summer Vacation (SUMVAC) in Baguio,” a calendar of activities for the Holy Week and the rest of the long vacation unfolds here starting this month.

Various religious activities to be mounted by ecumenical and inter-faith groups in the city will topbill the three-month long summer spectacle for both the residents and tourists to partake in for their Holy Week reflections and retreat.

Councilor Elmer Datuin and city tourism officer Benedicto Alhambra who head the Summer in Baguio preparations said the traditional religious activities include the Holy Week services in various churches, the re-staging of the Easter Sunday “salubong” on March 27 at the Rose Garden, Burnham Park and the Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo in May.

Last March 7, the city government opened to the public for free the spiritual trail of the 15 Stations of the Cross or Via Crucis Exercitium at the Dominican Hill and Retreat House which will run until March 27.

More activities will be announced as the committee chaired by Councilor Isabelo Cosalan Jr. will begin collating the events from the ecumenical and inter-faith groups in the city.

Alhambra said the summer calendar firms up Baguio’s reputation as the undisputed country’s summer capital.

He said the city lives up to its stature gauging from the number of visitors it receives during the hot season which was pegged at close to a million last year based on the record of tourist arrivals culled from both the accredited and non-accredited hotels and billeting houses in the city.

This does not include the day-time visitors who according to Datuin now outnumber the stay-in vacationers owing to the shortened route in going to the city.

The Summer in Baguio calendar will feature regular treats like the Araw ng Kagitingan observance, Sabsabong ti Mayo and the Search for Lucky Summer Visitors by the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club.

Other cultural, tourism, health and environmental and sports activities will also be featured in the calendar./Aileen P. Refuerzo


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