Cabaero: Sinulog fest in election year

SINULOG in an election year offers something different from the usual celebration. Festival goers become watchful of opportunistic candidates.

The Sinulog celebration will kick off on Friday, Jan. 10, with the dawn procession dubbed as the Walk with Jesus. This year, on May 13 in particular, the country will hold elections for local positions and congressional seats.

It is expected that election aspirants would want to take advantage of the huge crowds during a Sinulog celebration to make themselves seen, heard or known. But the outcome for these candidates could go either way.

A past Sinulog celebration during an election year had some candidates see their plans backfire when they were booed rather than welcomed for participating in the festival’s grand parade.

In 2016, just before the May presidential and local elections, Fr. Jonas Mejares, rector of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu, had to remind candidates that the religious activities should be dedicated to the Sto. Niño, not to political careers. He told election aspirants to use “common sense” by not using the Fiesta Señor to campaign.

Politicians were prohibited then from getting close to the “carrosa” or carriage carrying the image of the Sto. Niño during the foot and fluvial processions. In the turnover of the image during the Traslacion from Cebu City to Mandaue City, the handover was done in a public place.

As Sinulog organizers finalize plans for this year’s celebration, politicians have to be reminded to keep the spirit of the Sinulog.

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The closing of the year saw several journalists posting their goodbyes on social media not only to 2018 but also to their work in newspapers and news agencies.

The Cebu Daily News said goodbye to its print version but continued with the same passion and energy in its digital format. Its mother publication, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, also saw some farewells as in the case of a friend who is an editor and columnist. He continues his weekly newspaper column after retiring. Four members of the Manila-based Reuters news agency also had their last paycheck at the end of the year.

Many other journalists resigned, retired or were let go due to newsroom downsizing. But they are not completely out of media as many said they will continue writing their columns and will venture into online news or opinion writing.

While we die a little whenever a newspaper folds up because the public has one venue less for them, we see some good in this push to online as it will benefit the digital sphere.

With professional writers and editors jumping to digital, I hope others who populate the same sphere will be affected and guided by their examples of responsibility, accountability and proper decorum. Here are journalists who can be role models on how it is to publish online.

Traditional media’s loss is digital’s gain.

SunStar Publishing Inc.
www.sunstar.com.ph