IN CEBU City, revelries continue even after the Christmas season. Festive events, parties, including religious activities, are expected next month, January 2017, as Cebuanos will once again celebrate the Sinulog Festival.
However, next year is not your typical Sinulog, as organizers made a lot of changes in the festival activities.
Below are those that are in and out in next year's celebration.
OUT: Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan
To spare public students in Cebu City from exhaustion, there will be no more Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan next year.
Sinulog Foundation Executive Director Ricky Ballesteros said the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan category will be replaced by Sinulog sa Barangay.
He said that with the move, classes will no longer be affected and students will no longer be exposed to dangers during the grand celebration.
Ballesteros said the directive to exclude the students from joining the competition came from Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, who is now the chairman of the board of the Sinulog Foundation Inc.
Last August, Osmeña said he will also bar public schools from sending contingents to the Sinulog Grand Parade, which will be held on January 15, 2017.
Ballesteros said that nine contingents have so far registered for the Sinulog sa Barangay, and they are expecting more registrants in the coming days.
OUT: Miss Cebu
It seems that Gabrielle Raine Baljak will have a longer reign as Miss Cebu, as Sinulog organizers scrapped the beauty pageant for next year. Out of the 12 candidates, she won the coveted Miss Cebu crown in 2016.
Mayor Osmeña had announced that he wants the annual pageant to be stopped to reduce the City Government’s expenses.
The Cebu City Tourism Commission spends around P200,000 to P300,000 for the pageant to be staged.
IN: Shorter Grand Parade route
Though more groups have confirmed willingness to join next year's Sinulog Festival, a shorter grand parade route will be expected on January 15.
Ballesteros said the route was changed so that the event will end early.
He said, though, that they have yet to set the route for the Solemn Procession on January 14.
IN: Early finish
With a shorter Grand Parade route, the event is expected to end early.
Ballesteros said that they plan to end the event by 4:30 p.m., citing security reasons.
"Security is our topmost priority for Sinulog 2017," Ballesteros said.
He said, though, that the event may end a bit late than the targeted time, as there will be fireworks display on the finale. (With Jay Ann Ramirez/Sunnex)
Click here to view the updated Sinulog 2017 schedule.