SINULOG memorabilia sold on the streets are not as popular as they used to be, T-shirt printing stall owners and henna tattoo artists observed.

“Mas okay last year. Mingaw man karon (It was better last year.),” said Pyul Deacon, one of the shirt vendors along Osmeña Blvd. in Cebu City.

The prices of their shirts vary with the sizes, ranging from P100 to P150 for kids’ sizes (sizes 8-14) and up to P300 for extra small to large sizes.

Deacon, who has been printing and selling Sinulog shirts for five years, shared that going to different cities and places to sell shirts is a risk for them.

“As long as willing ka mubiyahe, willing ka mu-gamble, naa gyud na’y mahalin (As long as you’re willing to travel and willing to gamble, you will earn a profit),” said Deacon.

He said that for them to sustain their business, they do not just limit themselves to printing festival shirts. He said they print shirts for all “major events” in the Philippines.

With the lowersales, Greg Gweno, a henna tattoo artist, shared that he is doing his best to earn through sales talk.

“Sales talk gyud, pang-amigo gyud sa customer ba (I make friends with the customer),” said Gweno.

Gweno, who has been in a henna tattoo artist for seven years, said the sales of henna tattoo during Sinulog has been declining over the years.

“Atong 2016, lami pa kaayo ang halin sa henna diri, karon nag-usab na, hinay na kaayo. (Back in 2016, we did very well. Now it’s different),” said Gweno.

Gweno shared that they only visited Cebu for the Sinulog because henna tattoos were very popular then.

Gweno mentioned that prices of henna tattoos depend on the size of the image that the customer wants to get, which ranges from P80 to P1,500, if it covers the entire arm.

The hard part of their work, Gweno explained, is they do not have a permanent spot when they get here for the Sinulog since they do not have permits.

“Bantay-bantay lang. Di man sad sila muhatag og permit gud, willing ra unta mi mokuha (We just watch out. They won’t give us a permit. We were willing to secure one),” shared Gweno.

Still, they’re hopeful they can earn enough to cover the cost and make a good profit by the time the Sinulog festival draws to a close.

The solemn procession will start at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19. while the grand parade will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20. An awarding ceremony will also be held on Monday, Jan. 21, for winners of the grand parade.