Ban on street parties-A A +A
Saturday, January 12, 2013
THE news last week that got widely spread was not about what’s happening or not happening at the Cebu Capitol but on the move to ban street parties on Sinulog day.
Netizens or online users have been active, vocal and emotional the past weeks on the conflict at the Capitol. They still are and will continue to be until there is resolution to the suspension of the governor. But, with the Sinulog celebration started, social media activity coming from Cebu has moved on to festival events to take place in the coming days.
Topping the list of most shared and commented on was the news report on the police’s intention to keep street activity safe and sober. But what is Sinulog without a street party? This was the question asked by many after the police announcement that it would ensure peace and security during the celebration by banning street parties. In past Sinulog celebrations, permits were granted to groups to use the streets for merrymaking. This year, no such permits would be granted for Cebu’a annual festival.
Cebu City Police Office head Mariano Natuel was reported as saying parties would be allowed inside the barangay complex or gym but the police would monitor street gatherings. “We cannot prevent everyone from drinking and having fun or even dancing, but they should learn how to control their behavior,” Natuel said.
As soon as the news report on this was published online at www.sunstar.com.ph, readers passed it on to others and posted their comments via social media.
The article titled “Sinulog street parties banned,” written by Jill Tatoy and Jujemay Awit of Sun.Star Cebu, was recommended on Facebook over 5,300 times and shared via Twitter 233 times, as of 4 p.m. Sunday. This shows how fast and easy “bad news” can be spread online.
Sun.Star Cebu selected some of the comments to Storify, an online tool that gathers comments on a particular issue. “Authorities want to maintain order, prevent ‘intolerable sounds,’ Cebu City police chief says, but revelers in social media retort: What's the Sinulog, if not a massive street party?” the article said.
Among the comments mentioned were those of Christine Mejiliano: “Sinulog street parties banned? Sus, tuo mo ana!! Hahahaha. Di mo kapugong sa mga tao!! :)),” and Kat: “You can't ban street parties on Sinulog day. That's social suicide. But you always know where to go. Same time, same place. Wohoo!”
The exchange also included calls for sobriety like that from Jouana Farlin Seva, who said the street parties make the Sinulog livelier. “But of course we should be mindful of the probable chaos; got to be responsible though.”
Online users may see a clash in the police’s statement and usual Sinulog party practice but, going by police and online statements, law enforcers and revelers have nothing to disagree on because all want to keep the celebration meaningful and safe.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 13, 2013.