POLICE and organizers of this year’s Sinulog observed a more peaceful, orderly and successful holding of Cebu’s biggest religious and cultural event yesterday.
Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) executive director Ricky Ballesteros said that contingents had a smooth performance during the street dancing as the crowd was well-managed.
Except for a light drizzle, the weather also cooperated for much of the day.
The foundation successfully organized a shorter grand parade, which ended at 7 p.m.
He said the organizers properly followed the flow of events on time, following the shorter route for the street dancing.
“We made it. I was impressed and I thank everyone who helped us, including the City Government, police, military and volunteers, among others,” he said.
It was also the first time that SFI announced the winners immediately after the grand finale.
The judges also liked this year’s shorter grand parade.
Nestor Jardin, chairman of the board of judges in the free interpretation category, said it worked for them as well as the performers and audience.
“The shorter time worked for us and the performers since it won’t be too tiring for them to wait until the evening. I observed a much better organized festival this year,” he said.
Lordinio Vergara, who served as the chairman of the board of judges in the street dancing category, said he also observed a more controlled crowd this year.
Vergara said that the contingents were able to dance well while on the streets compared to the scenario last year.
Meanwhile, Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Noli Taliño described the Sinulog as peaceful and said that no major untoward incidents happened, except for a few theft incidents and the explosion of a transformer.
Central Command Commander Oscar Lactao denied reports circulating on Facebook that there were four terrorists who arrived in Cebu.
The crowd that witnessed the parade reached 1.5 million past 4 p.m., which is 1.7 million fewer than the 3.2 million revelers who flocked to Cebu City last year.
Taliño attributed the smaller crowd to the unpredictable weather and the signal shutdown of cell sites. He did not think terrorism threats discouraged some persons to join in the revelry.
The celebration, though, was temporarily disturbed after a transformer exploded near the PRO 7 headquarters past 11 a.m.
The top police official said that the explosion was reportedly triggered by a balloon, which got tangled up the wires.
As of 6:30 p.m., the Cebu City Police Station 2 recorded 20 victims of pickpockets.