Dadayuhin ng deboto! Guimaras Pagtaltal festival to mark 44th year on April 19
Guimaras province is ready to welcome thousands of devotees and Catholic pilgrims for its “Ang Pagtaltal sa Balaan Bukid” – a stage play depicting Christ’s Life and Passion – on Good Friday, April 19.
Jordan Mayor Ruben Corpuz said they are working with transportation authorities and the police for the 44th year of “Ang Pagtaltal sa Balaan Bukid.”
Corpuz said they will deploy first-aid teams from the Philippine National Police and Municipal Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Office, and another team from the Philippine Red Cross.
He added garbage sacks are spread across Balaan Bukid for garbage disposal.
For his part, Guimaras provincial police chief Police Col. Julio Gustilo said they are 99.9 percent ready to ensure that no major incidents will occur during Pagtaltal.
Gustilo said that 504 police personnel will be deployed to man the province particularly in the venue of the event.
He added police assistance desk centers will also be established to assist and monitor the devotees.
Pagtaltal Foundation president Bartolome Togonon assured devotees they are ready for visitors who will watch the re-enactment of Christ’s passion and death.
For his part, Jordan Motorbanca Cooperative operations manager Ernan Gedalanga said they expect the volume of passengers to increase Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
Last year, Gedalanga said they recorded 15 trips for each of the 26 motor bancas, with an average capacity of 40 passengers, from Ortiz Warf to Balaan Bukid Shrine.
This year, Gedalanga said some 52 motor bancas will be deployed in the two wharfs in Jordan and Ortiz – or 26 each – to ferry passengers.
For this year’s event, some 121 characters, the youngest of whom is aged six, form the cast of this year’s “Ang Pagtaltal sa Balaan Bukid.”
The event has evolved into a street presentation that starts from the smallest plaza in Barangay Poblacion and ends with the “Pieta” at the Balaan Bukid Shrine.
Thousands of devotees are expected to follow the characters as they walk for almost three hours on the 1.7-km route under the hot sun.
Meanwhile, Gustilo appealed to the public to refrain from bringing backpacks and illegal items during the event.
He also encouraged the visitors and guests to report to the police any suspicious items or suspicious looking persons in the area.
Transportation of motorcycles, bicycles or cargo on motor bancas will be banned starting Wednesday to prevent congestion at the wharfs, said Gedalanga.