LIKE what the weather bureau Pagasa announced, rain did fall almost without letup in Cebu even after tropical depression Auring weakened into a low pressure area (LPA) when it made another landfall in Cebu a couple of days ago. Imagine the havoc Auring would have created had it not weakened—the rain would have been accompanied by strong winds, a potent combination.
The rain fell in torrents only in snatches so it is the weaker but continuous rainfall (Cebuanos describe it in a politically incorrect way as “inday-inday”) that is a rather disturbing presence in our daily lives, especially in Cebu City that will celebrate the feast of the Child Jesus this Sunday. It isn’t flood-inducing but it weakens the soil and could cause landslides.
Another disturbing presence is, of course, the traffic gridlocks that appear especially in Cebu City in different areas especially during rush hours or if one is near the Basilica del Sto. Niño. Because of the religious activities there, the number of vehicles passing the area and parked in available spaces have gone up. Just look at the area in the vicinity of the old Compania Maritima structure.
This is the reason why a colleague told me she does not use her car in going to work nowadays. That is still a hassle considering that traffic jams also affect public utility vehicles that she now uses to commute. But that’s one less private car off the metro’s streets. I don’t know if there are other like-minded car owners out there because if there are many of them traffic would at least ease a bit.
As for traffic, expect that to be, pardon the term, hell in some hours of Saturday and Sunday. Saturday afternoon would be the procession of the image of the Child Jesus and, according to the Cebu City Transportation Office (CTTO), 46 intersections in the city would be closed. That’s a lot of deprivation. Sunday would be the Sinulog Grand Parade and again roads would be closed.
I haven’t been to the Cebu City Sports Center for the culmination of the parade in a long while now. I stopped bringing my family to the area when I felt that the hassles of going there already outstripped any enjoyment my family would get. Plus there’s the safety concerns. I don’t know if the handling of the activity would be better with the change of administration in the city. But I doubt it.
The sport center’s grandstand is always cramped so that you find it difficult to move in and out of that structure. Even going to the comfort room is a struggle. I am not only taking of inconvenience there but also of safety, especially when any disturbance, even if minor, occurs. Going out of the sports center after the parade is another problem because of the crowd and the lack of transportation. But what I consider a hassle may be an excitement-inducing challenge for others.
Also, I haven’t been to my former haunt, Fuente Osmeña when Sinulog festivity-related activities are being mounted there. I always enjoy wallowing in the bustle and color there. During the fiesta, it is the stretch from Plaza Independencia to the Basilica to Fuente Osmeña through Osmeña Blvd. where one feels the fiesta spirit more. (to be continued)