THE CARMEN United Vendors Association (Cuva) and devotees in Barangay Carmen and other areas of Misamis Oriental converged in celebration of their own Sinulog Festival for their patron saint Señor Sto. Niño.
On the early morning of January 19, street dancers and the devotees carrying their images of Señor Sto. Niño in different colors and sizes paraded around the Carmen Public Market to start their celebration of the Sinulog Festival.
"Kini among celebration sa Señor Sto. Niño, Sinulog, sa pag abri aning sa bag-o nga merkado Carmen, first year wala pa ni (When the market opened, we still didn't celebrate Sinulog)," Lina Tan Lagsa, chairwoman of a religious group that initiated the Sinulog Festival in Carmen Public Market, said.
The 72-year-old Lagsa, who has been a devotee of Señor Sto. Niño since she was young, was the first to push for the celebration of Sinulog Festival in their area.
"Gaadto gyud mi'g Cebu, grupo mi, para mag celebrate sa Sinulog. Karon nga ako na tan-aw nga ang mga tao mo-celebrate... so ako gi-ingon 'Sige dinhi ta sa Cagayan.’ So ako maningkamot gyud ko nga naa gyud ang Carmen (We usually go to Cebu to celebrate Sinulog but now that I observed a lot of people are joining the celebration, we decided to organize our own here in Carmen)," Lagsa said.
Despite her age, Lagsa continues to be a Señor Sto. Nino devotee along with her children.
"Dagko ang akong pasalamat, halos daghan kaayo mi karon. Grabe dili masabtan ang mga tao. Daghan kaayo akong pasalamat sa tanan mga tao gikan sa mga barrio anaa dinhi (We are so thankful that many people joined the event now, even the residents from barrio are here)," Lagsa said.
Lagsa recalled how in the first year of their Sinulog Festival celebration, only around 50 people were in attendance. However, this year, there were hundreds of people crowded the street of Carmen Public Market.
Santiago Canoy Jr., Cuva president, for his part, expressed his gratitude to the officials of the City Government for their support and the people behind the successful celebration of their Sinulog Festival.
"Sa kanunay ato na gyung isulod sa atong kasing-kasing nga naa gyud ang atong Ginoong Jesus, ang atong Pit Señor nga naghatag kanato'g buhing kinabuhi, nagabubo sa ato nga grasya sa matag adlaw sa atong pagpamaligya niining merkado Carmen nga sa kanunay naag-iya kanato sa atong kinabuhi (All the time. Lord Jesus should always be in our hearts, our Pit Señor who provides us our life, blessings everyday and reminds us that as we make livelihood in Carmen, we owe Him our lives)," Canoy said.