Fiesta Pilar 2015: Make it the grandest PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 27 September 2015 14:16

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

Seventeen days from today before it will be Fiesta Pilar 2015. Zamboanga City’s religious fiesta in honor and homage to the city’s Patron

Nuestra Senora Del Pilar (Our Lady of the Pillar) is also pilgrimage to many devotees in the country and abroad. It is also a day of family reunion to some but most importantly, it is a day where the culture of Zamboanga is shown in the many activities and festivities that the Catholic Church and the City Government prepare. But this did not happen in 2013 when the MNLF laid siege to the city forcing every devotee to stay at home. The City Government devoted her time in assisting the thousands of refugees who were left homeless and hungry because of a shooting war with the government’s armed forces. But the Catholic Church and their believers held their ground, the religious procession went on that year, amidst the staccato of gunfire between the MNLF rebels and government soldiers right in the city proper. The 2013 Fiesta Pilar in Zamboanga was so far the loneliest and saddest.

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This coming fiesta next month should be the grandest. The City Government must make all fiesta activities the best to make up for the lost happiness in 2013 and to also show the country and the world, that the city and its people have recovered from the dastardly act of the Moro National Liberation Front  (MNLF). City officials must lead in the celebration and join their constituents and visitors and not stay away by traveling abroad for a brief vacation. The military and police authorities must neutralize and immobilize now all enemies of the city that they suspect will be potential troublemakers. Pickpockets, burglars, street petty criminals and other malefactors must this early be confined in a safe area while visitors have not yet arrived in full force. The recidivist and incorrigible must be eradicated like a plague, because they are the scum of the city and her visitors. Don’t “spare the rod and spoil the child” because law-abiding citizens have also human rights perhaps more than them.

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They say that a determined assassin or trouble maker cannot be stopped by any means but Table Talk says, a determined and committed peace or security officer, cannot also be stopped in their pursuit of crime busting by any means. They are the law and it must be respected because they protect law abiding citizens and laws are enacted for government to exist. This is the only way for our 2015 Fiesta Pilar to be enjoyable, happy and grand and also to assure peaceful devotees of the Lady of the Pillar that they are safe to pay homage and pilgrimage.

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All politicians and potential candidates in the city must make this month of October free of “politicking” and instead devote their time in helping the city for a grand Fiesta Pilar 2015. The city should not only show that it recovered from the MNLF siege but more so it recovered her cultural glory and continue showcasing the historical values of the city. The city has lost so many of its valuable citizens to other cities and foreign lands and the only way for them to love their city of origin is bring back the peaceful and prosperous past that used to be when they were here.  “No te vayas de Zamboanga” (don’t leave Zamboanga)  will not work if the city is not peaceful and orderly more so if we only think of “Vaya con Dios” (leave it to God) and not help ourselves. “Walk the talk” and “bite the bullet” are the answer to a peaceful environment.

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Scoop: Zamboanga City misses the past celebration of Fiesta Pilar, where “carnivals” are so huge that you feel you are in Disneyland, or every city street is celebrating with “buntings” and music in houses and friends invite you for lunch and dinner, or go to Pasonanca Park where different vendors or snacks or toys are sold by smiling vendors or go to light colorful  candles at Fort Pilar shrine anytime of the day and night, walking peacefully in the acacia lined streets of Pettit Barracks or go to movies downtown with friends without fear of bombs or see the out-of-town vendors lined the road going to Fort Pilar or Plaza Pershing or buy some cotton candy and ice cream from the many vendors roaming around the city or simply go to the public market anytime of the day buy some cheap fresh fish and meat products and fresh vegetables for your visitors and friends without fear of bombs, snatchers and pirckpockets or simply roam around the city anytime of the day and night with your barkadas without fear of some “war freak” fraternities or plain “standbys” who always wanted trouble or simply drink some beer at your favorite hang out in the evening without any fear of getting hurt. We missed those times when only policemen can bring pistols and “batuta” but people respect and are afraid of them. Soldiers roam around the city gunless and in civilian clothes and enjoying the fiesta. When will this happen again in Zamboanga city?  You may agree or disagree.