I CAME in late for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Mayor Edgar Labella and British Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Alastair Totty at City Hall Friday afternoon. Still, I considered myself lucky because I could have arrived even much much later had I not been able to beg the police to let me pass.
All the roads in the vicinity were closed and we ended up making several turns and trying other corners so we could reach City Hall. But each time we did that, we were confronted with a “No Entry” sign. Finally, I spoke to a nearby policeman and lied that the mayor was waiting for me. I did not feel good about lying but it worked: I arrived just in time to witness the mayor propose a toast for a stronger and mutually beneficial British presence in Cebu City.
The last two days have seen our patience sorely toasted on the road. Traffic, already a splitting headache in the city and its neighbors, has worsened because of the Sinulog and is sure to worsen even further today with the street parade and dancing.
Yesterday, we almost did not make it home from an unplanned reunion with former colleagues at the Cebu Stevedoring Company as passage was restricted in the roads that were part of the Sinulog procession’s route. Again, we bargained with the police to let us through. Happily, I did not have to lie anymore.
Bargaining should be part of the survival kit for those who want to enjoy the Sinulog. Do not get mad with the police or whoever it is who is blocking your way because they are just following orders and are doing their job. And learn to accept rejection. It happens most of the time.
In fact, if there is no urgent reason for you to go out, you should not go out today. Follow the street dancing and the grandstand d finale at the Cebu City Sports Center oval on television. Mayor Labella has ordered that TV broadcast of the Sinulog be open to anyone so you have a wide array of choices of television channels.
Let’s give way to our visitors who want to enjoy the street and grandstand dancing live. Some of them traveled hundreds of miles to line the parade route and feel the throb of the Sinulog. Let’s be generous to them and in the process be kind to ourselves and avoid unnecessary stress. Stay home.
I will (stay home) as I have done the last few years. For a while I considered making this year’s edition an exception and go the CCSC today to watch Gov. Gwen Garcia and Labella dance in the finale in what would have been a first in the history of the Sinulog.
No Cebu City Mayor and Cebu governor have ever danced together on the stage in homage of the Santo Niño. It was Garcia who reportedly proposed the dance number to show the newly-rekindled unity between the province and the city. Labella agreed and even practiced with the governor earlier this week.
The other day, I was told that the mayor may not be dancing anymore because of protocol as President Duterte is expected to be at the grandstand today to watch the Sinulog.
It looks like the historic dance has to wait until next year.