THE post-celebration assessment of this year’s Sinulog Grand Parade will be as interesting as what went before the celebration itself.
Expect the assessments to begin by mid-day Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, and extend to the days to come. There will be lessons, hurt feelings and maybe some boasting but it definitely will be a worthwhile exercise to ensure better preparations for a smoother and improved event in the next years.
Hours before the Sinulog culminating event, the grand parade where contingents dance to honor the Sto. Niño and celebrate culture and tradition, the wish is for a successful celebration. Success in terms of favorable weather after days of rain and cold, contingents able to perform without hitches and no untoward incidents or accidents to ruin performances.
Add to that list of measurements of success is that there will be no attack, criminal or terrorist, after the usual precaution of jamming mobile phone signals during big gatherings was canceled on orders of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama. And to pray for unity among Cebu’s elected leaders would be unfeasible at this point but it definitely can be part of the postscript.
Rama insisted last Friday, Jan. 13, that the Sinulog Grand Parade and Ritual Showdown will be held at the South Road Properties (SRP) today, Sunday, despite Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s decision to withdraw the contingents of Cebu Province from the event.
Rama said the SRP venue would be ready and participants and spectators need not worry. Garcia said the new venue will not be safe for the participants because of the muddy roads leading to the presentation area.
The withdrawal of 10 contingents from the province will leave only 12 contingents to perform today at the SRP. Garcia said the 10 contingents will perform instead in the Sinulog in Carmen town next Sunday, Jan. 22.
Part of the postscript to the Sinulog 2023 should be our leaders sitting down and doing an honest assessment of what happened, what could have been prevented and what to do next. They cannot leave things as they are now with Cebu City having a celebration and Cebu Province doing a separate one a week later. We cannot have separate celebrations next year. Governor Garcia and Mayor Rama will still be around the next Sinulog and cannot have the same arrangement by then.
The postscript must consider a unified theme, one that the two leaders should agree on, the venue, preparations and timeline to avoid rush work that does not build confidence toward the new arrangements. The participants and contingents must be assured that the local government units did their part to ensure their safety.
Most of all, any postscript should remind local leaders to listen to Cebuanos. In the prelude to today’s event, there were those worried about the last-minute work, lack of preparedness and poor planning that made them call for a return to the old venue.
January 15, 2023
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