Isabela Mayor Joselito Malabor said, the local government has taken steps to ensure the safety of thousands of pilgirms and devotees expected to visit the giant cross at the Holy Mountain (Glory Hill) in Barangay Mansablay in the town.
Malabor said, they are expecting that the influx of pilgrims and devotees will increase this year.
The trail as well as the surroundings were already cleaned up for the visitors who are expected to reach 50,000 this year.
Last year, Malabor said the pilgrims and devotees reached about 30,000 who went up Holy Mountain (Glory Hill) to reach the 45-feet steel cross.
The trek route to the hill where the giant cross is located has been widened with the help of local businessman/contractor Frankie Uy to accommodate more trekkers going up the giant cross, he added.
He said that efforts of the local government are geared towards making the area an eco-tourism site.
The Glory Hill in Barangay Mansablay is one Lenten destination that continues to draw devotees.
Located in a hilly portion of the barangay, one has to trek for about an hour and a half to reach the top of the hill.
Along the way are 14 stations of the cross, strategically located along the trek route where one can stop at one’s pace either to rest or meditate.
The trek route which is a manmade trail with some portions are cemented steps are mostly lined up with bamboo trees that provide shade to trekkers. Along the way is also greenery that is so cool to the eyes.
Aside from the 45-feet giant cross on the top of the hill, one gets a view of the Isabela’s landscape with Mount Kanlaon as a backdrop.
At the back of the giant cross is a slope planted with tall mahogany trees where one can put up camp for the night or just simply take some rest.
Malabor said policemen and other force multipliers as well as personnel from the local municipal health office and concerned agencies will be around to assist the pilgrims.*(NDB)