CEBU CITY -- This year’s Fiesta Señor and Sinulog festivities officially opened Friday, with church officials challenging devotees to grow in their faith in Sto. Niño.
Msgr. Roberto “Boy” Alesna, who was the main celebrant in the solemn mass during the opening salvo at the Basilica del Sto. Niño, said the devotees should develop a faith that is “sincere and authentic.”
“Faith is a gift of God. It is not enough to just keep it but it has to grow. A faith that is so real where changes (in yourself) happen and follow,” he said.
After the 2:30 p.m. mass, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama formally declared this year’s Sinulog celebration open.
The Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) then gave a small treat to the estimated 100 candle vendors at the Basilica by giving each of them P100.
A parade followed, starting at the basilica, passing Fuente Osmeña and ending at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).
This, as the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) advised motorists about the rerouting for the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan today (Saturday) and Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan tomorrow (Sunday).
Vehicular traffic from Capitol Site to Cebu City Sports Center will be affected. Rerouting will start at 12 noon until the activity is finished.
Passenger jeepneys from Mabalo shall turn left to F. Ramos St., turn right turn to Junquera St., right to Sanciangko St., then proceed to Osmeña Blvd.
Passenger jeepneys coming from Lahug, Ayala, and Apas shall go straight to Gorordo Ave., then turn right to Gen. Maxilom Ave., turn left to F. Ramos St., right to Junquera St., right to Sanciangko St, and proceed to their destination.
Jeepneys coming from Ayala shall turn left to Colon St., right to Mabini St. and right to V. Gullas St. before going to their usual route.
Passenger jeepneys coming from Carbon and Opra shall turn left to Gov. Roa St., left to Maria Cristina St., right to Juana Osmeña St., right to Gen Maxilom Ave., left to F. Ramos St., right to Junquera St. and right to Sanciangko St. to their point of destination.
Passenger jeepneys from Guadalupe and Banawa shall go straight or turn right to V. Rama Ave., left to N. Bacalso Ave., right to Osmeña Blvd., before proceeding to their usual route in downtown area.
Passenger jeepneys with routes 12L and 06H shall turn right or go straight to V. Rama Ave., left turn to N. Bacalso Ave., left turn to Osmeña Blvd. and right turn to N. Escario St.
From the north area, routes 12L shall turn left to Gorordo Ave., right to Gen. Maxilom Ave., left to F. Ramos St., right to Junquera St., right to P. del Rosario St., then to their point of origin.
Route 06H shall go straight to Gen. Maxilom Ave., left turn to F. Ramos St., right turn to Junquera St., right turn to P. del Rosario St., proceed to N. Bacalso Ave., then to their point of origin.
The parade was led by the 12 Miss Cebu 2013 candidates riding on a Volkswagen Beetle courtesy of the Volkswagen Club of Cebu.
The parade stopped near Fuente Osmeña after one of the six cars broke down. The three aspiring beauty titlist on it was forced to walk to CCSC.
The parade was also participated in by 15 universities and colleges who served as opening salvo contingents and giving a glimpse of what the Sinulog grand parade on January 20 will be.
The contingents represented countries in the Southeast Asia and those that influenced Christianity in the Philippines. Others showcased provinces in the country.
The University of San Carlos represented the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) since Cebu City was named “Asean City of Culture” last year.
Cebu Technological University represented Mexico; Southwestern University, Guam; and Cebu Doctor’s University, Portugal.
The Ginatilan Performing Arts from Ginatilan, Cebu represented the life of the new Filipino saint Pedro Calungsod.
Schools who represented several provinces in the country are Cebu Normal University (Leyte), Cebu Institute of Technology University (Batangas), St. Paul College Foundation Inc. (Bukidnon), University of the Visayas (Bohol), Salazar College of Science and Institute of Technology (Camiguin), and Visayas State University (Baybay, Leyte).
Others include University of Southern Philippines Foundation (Rizal Province), University of San Jose Recoletos (Negros Occidental), University of Cebu and Abellana National High School who represented Cebu.
SFI executive director Ricky Ballesteros thanked the universities and colleges because of their cooperation in the Sinulog 2013 kick off Friday despite the absence of a subsidy.
In the past years, Ballesteros said SFI have been giving them P5,000 for their costumes. (Rachel Anne M. Umpad USJ-R Mass Com Intern/PDF/Sun.Star Cebu)