Bad weather fails to stop Sinulog

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Sunday, January 19, 2014


CEBU CITY SPORTS COMPLEX--Despite the weather disturbance that threatened the Visayas and Mindanao brought about by tropical depression Agaton, the 34th presentation of the Sinulog grand parade went on without hitches. The occasional rain showers and gusty winds did not stop the enthusiasm of the participants, as well as the thousands of spectators who lined up along the route and waited at the grandstand.

The weather was cooperative from morning until 4 p.m. when intermittent drizzle and strong winds were experienced. Weather officials earlier predicted that it would be a rainy day because of tropical depression Agaton. But indeed it was a miracle because the weather did not hamper the activities.

Last Saturday, the traditional fluvial procession at the Mactan Channel went on smoothly because the weather was also fine. It was also predicted that we would encounter rough seas and big waves that might result to the cancellation of the event.

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But many of the participants were surprised because while there was strong wind, the sea was calm.

During the solemn procession in the afternoon, the rain showers did not discourage devotees from walking a few kilometers to join the foot procession.

Around 9 a.m., Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama officially declared the opening of the grand parade. It was preceded by a mass officiated by Msgr. Dennis Villarojo at the grandstand. Vice President Jejomar Binay was given a few minutes to greet the audience at the grandstand. Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale and Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella were also present during the opening.

A total of 35 contingents participated in the grand parade (16 for the Sinulog-based and 19 for the free interpretation). The two major calamities, the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck Bohol and Cebu in October and the super typhoon Yolanda in November that wrought massive devastation in Samar, Leyte and in the northern part of Cebu, were the reasons there were fewer participants.

Contingents from Abuyog and Alang-Alang in Leyte, which had been frequent participants and perennial winners, failed to join this year because of Yolanda. Most of the theme presented by the participating contingents were about hope and faith and on how to overcome the trials we encountered last year and our devotion to the Holy Child. The most applauded contingent was the Tribu Sinandoloy of Tangub City, perennial winner and the Hall-of-Famer Lumad Basakanon of Basak, San Nicolas.

I also observed that spectators at the grandstand were fewer compared to the previous years. This may be because ticket prices went up. Very Important Persons (VIP) seats cost P2,500.

Based on radio reports, there was order along the Sinulog route and in the grandstand. Security was composed of policemen, military men and ROTC cadets who prohibited spectators from approaching the stage.

The event ended around 7 p.m. with a fireworks display.

***

On behalf of Manila-based colleague GMA 7 Manila reporter Tina Panganiban Perez, I am appealing to those who may have found her wallet containing important documents to turn it over to the nearest police station or to the GMA 7 Cebu broadcast complex in Nivel Hills.

Tina, who was here to cover the Sinulog festivities, was victimized by a bag-slasher near a fast food chain on Borromeo St., while covering the solemn procession last Saturday afternoon.

The thief took her bag containing P10,000 and $100, credit and ATM cards, GMA ID and driver’s license. I know the thief was only after the money and he probably got rid of the wallet. Anybody who may find Tina’s bag, please return it to GMA 7 Cebu.

(bobby.nalzaro@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 20, 2014.

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