By Kier Edison C. Belleza
Cebu City – The Archdiocese of Cebu will host National Youth Day (NYD) in 2019, a gathering of Catholic youths from all over the country.
The choice of Cebu as National Youth Day host was posted on the website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
“I was so happy because this is another challenge for the Cebu youth, to handle the next NYD,” Fr. Mark Romel Barneso, Cebu Archdiocese Youth Commissioner, said.
“We are excited to showcase, of course the festivals we have, and how the delegates will encounter the warmest Cebuano hospitality,” Barneso said.
“You will enjoy many things in Cebu,” he added.
Having hosted a number of religious occasions, Barneso is confident that Cebu will make the celebration of the 2019 NYD memorable.
“We held the annual Local World Youth Day, where we catered to three to five thousand delegates, and we had the International Eucharistic Congress. I believe that makes us capable (of handling the 2019 NYD),” he said.
He said the event will also be backed by the local government.
Asked for a message to the pilgrims attending the NYD, he challenged them to gather thrice as many delegates than this year’s event.
Frankel Margallo, Cebu Archdiocesan Commission on Youth Coordinator, said they anticipate as many as 15,000 delegates, the same number as the delegates that joined the IEC last year.
The archdiocese of Cebu already has at least 10,000 youth members from 155 parishes, Margallo said.
It would be the first NYD for Cebu, recognized as the country’s cradle of Christianity, since the event was launched three decades ago.
About 2,000 delegates from all over the Philippines converged at the Summit Centre of the Universidad de Zamboanga in Zamboanga City for the last NYD.