THIS year’s Sinulog ritual showdown, which was supposed to be pre-recorded and shown online, will not push through.
This means there will be no rehearsals for the 21 contingents that were supposed to participate in the Sinulog-based and free interpretation categories.
The Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) and the steering committee for Sinulog 2021 led by Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama announced on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, that they were postponing cultural activities.
The contingents will instead perform in April for the quincentennial celebration of the arrival of Christianity in the archipelago.
The recorded ritual showdown would have been aired on Sunday, Jan. 17, or Sinulog day.
SFI exective director Elmer “Jojo” Labella said the Archdiocese of Cebu will hold a monthly celebration starting in April to commemorate 500 years of Christianity.
Labella, who is also the brother of Mayor Edgardo Labella, said a “quincentennial Sinulog” will be integrated in one of the events.
“And we have decided that we will halt this time and start in April with the CHAC (Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission), the (City) Tourism Commission and the cultural group for the City of Cebu to have a celebration for the quincentennial Sinulog,” he said.
In lieu of the recorded ritual showdown, an online mass will be held and performances of past contingents will be shown, according to SFI executive committee member Neil Odchigue.
Odchigue said the SFI’s production team will choose performances it considers “the best of Cebu.”
Meanwhile, the “break” should give contingents time to regroup and improve on their performances not only for April’s event but also for next year’s Sinulog, he said.
Rama, for his part, said postponing the cultural activities is the Sinulog organizers’ contribution to prevent further transmission of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Odchigue also said they only heeded the call of the public and the suggestion of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to stop any actual and physical performances amid the ongoing health crisis.
Rama said the city’s latest data on Covid-19 cases was also a factor in their decision.
On Jan. 8, the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) recorded 49 new Covid-19 cases, the highest recorded number of cases since the new year started. This was surpassed on Saturday, Jan. 9, when the EOC logged 59 new cases.
As of Jan. 8, Cebu City had 259 active cases.
City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the city’s EOC, said the number of barangays with no reported Covid-19 cases for the past 14 days has dropped to 37, which means 43 of the city’s 80 barangays now have active transmission.
Of the 128,264 individuals tested for Covid-19, 8.6 percent came out positive.
With the latest development, Rama said the City will be able to save on expenses since there will no longer be a need to test contingents for the coronavirus. (JJL)