AS ORGANIZERS officially open the Sinulog 2019 celebration today, Jan. 11, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña asked the public to help make Sinulog safe and enjoyable for children.
“Let’s not forget that in Sinulog, we are celebrating the feast of the Sto. Niño, who is a child. So the fiesta is not for the palahubog (drunks) and the addicts; the fiesta is for the children. Let’s create an environment where children will be able to go out and celebrate. That’s the thrust so that when they grow up, they have good memories of the Sinulog,” he said.
Today, the Sinulog Foundation Inc. and the City Government will formally open the cultural side of the celebration with a parade from the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño to the Cebu City Sports Center.
Last Jan. 4, Osmeña signed an executive order prohibiting vendors and business establishments from holding street parties and other activities that require the use of loud speakers along the procession and Sinulog parade routes.
“Even at their convenience, let us follow the rules. Bisan maminos ang kalingawan, ato nang’ dawaton basta smooth flowing ang celebration (If it takes away from the fun, so be it as long as the celebration flows smoothly),” he added.
The mayor is also in favor of the plan to shut down cellular signals during the solemn procession on Jan. 19 and the grand parade on Jan. 20.
“People will get adjusted to it, if people will know in advance. We cannot take chances because Sinulog is a situation that if something happens, we cannot react. There are just too many people,” said Osmeña.
Meanwhile, contingents from Barangays Sapangdaku, Suba and Day-as in Cebu City and from Bogo City were among the first to claim their P400,000 subsidy from the City Government. The City is giving subsidy to the 24 ontingents joining the grand parade.
Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, chairman of the Sinulog 2019 executive committee, said the Philippine National Police can now also claim the cash aid for the policemen who will secure the Sinulog events.
“We’re just waiting for the PNP to get their check. If the amount is not enough, they (the PNP) can request from the Sinulog Foundation,” he said. (Wenilyn Sabalo, USJ-R Intern)