The Catholic faithful in Palawan will once again gather face-to-face to celebrate the Bugsayan Festival today, November 30.

The celebration will take place in various parish clusters of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa (AVPP) and the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay (AVT).

According to Fr. Salvador Saturnino, director of Social Communications and Mass Media for the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa (AVPP), this year’s Bugsayan will be held in clusters to comply with health protocols.

“(It is) still for safety reasons because of the pandemic and to give way (giving all the necessary preparation) to another big gathering on August 25, 2003, the Celebration of the 400 YarsOC in our province,” he said in a text message.

This year’s Bugsayan is expected to be more significant because it coincides with Palawan’s quadricentennial, or 400th year of Christianity (YOC).

Speakers for this year’s Bugsayan are Rev. Fr. Rene Paglinasan, OAR and Bishop Broderick Pabillo of AVT, who will discuss the early Christianity in Palawan and the spirituality of stewardship legacy. Bishop Socrates Mesiona of AVPP and his predecessor, Bishop Pedro Arigo, will also deliver keynote messages.

The official music video of the 400 YOC will also be launched as part of the celebration.

Bugsayan Festival is one of the largest events of the Catholic devotees in the city where thousands of devotees flock to the City Coliseum.

In last two years, the celebration was held online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the activity resumes physical gathering, the church is expecting a pre-pandemic volume of participants even held in clustered to control the crowd.

“Almost the same number or more than— but though more than, it is not within the same venue. That is the advantage of having it by parish, more can participate but not that crowded,” he said.