THE Department of Education (DepEd) in Central Visayas has no problem with learners who will participate in the Sinulog 2023 as long as classes will not be disrupted.
This after Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) executive director Elmer “Jojo” Labella said Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, that choreographers are having a hard time in deciding whether to register their group as a school-based or barangay-based contingent following a memorandum from DepEd that prevents students from joining extracurricular activities like the Sinulog Festival.
But in a text message sent to SunStar Cebu, DepEd 7 Director Salustiano Jimenez said their office is not prohibiting students from participating in the festival.
“We are not prohibiting our learners to join in the Sinulog provided that (there will be) no disruption of classes during practice,” said Jimenez.
Jimenez added that he does not have the information right now on how many public schools in the region will be participating in the Sinulog.
For their part, Labella said that they wrote a letter to DepEd’s Central Office in Manila to grant special permission for the students to join and have the schools register as official contingents for next year’s Sinulog.
Won’t wait for DepEd
But Labella added that they will no longer wait for DepEd’s reply and will have the choreographers decide now so that they can begin with their preparations.
“We sent a petition to DepEd Central Office, kay during the Pasigarbo (sa Sugbo) they were granted also. However, with the time element, as much as possible they (contingents) could already start... Once December starts, everybody will be very busy,” said Labella.
Labella also mentioned that they are coordinating with different schools including private schools located near the South Road Properties that their rooms will be used as billeting areas for the contingents.
As of Friday, the number of registered contingents remains at 15 and they are all from outside Cebu City, Labella said.
The deadline for the submission of entries is Dec. 10, and Labella believes that more contingents will register, especially those coming from Cebu City.
Labella said Cebu City-based contingents will receive financial assistance worth P500,000, while contingents coming from other local government units will be given P600,000.
He also disclosed that there will be one contingent from Indonesia and two from South Korea who will join the festival as guest performers.
During the last celebration of the Sinulog Festival in 2020, there were 31 contingents that participated in the Sinulog-based and Free Interpretation categories.
Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe of Tangub City, Misamis Occidental bagged the first prize in the Sinulog-based category while Lumad Basakanon of Barangay Basak San Nicolas won in the Free Interpretation category.
Police estimated that about two million people gathered along the Sinulog grand parade route.
In 2022, there was still no ritual showdown, street parade and other pre-pandemic activities. Religious ceremonies like novena masses were held only virtually.