THE overcast sky did not stop people yesterday from going out on the street to watch the formal opening of the Sinulog 2015 celebration.

Opening activities began with a mass followed by a parade and presentations by schools and universities in Metro Cebu.

The parade started from the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, continued to Fuente Osmeña and ended at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).

Sr. Supt. Conrad Capa, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) acting city director, estimated the crowd at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño and those on the streets to the CCSC to reach 30,000.

“That's a very conservative estimate,” he said.


Mayor Michael Rama and Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) executive director Ricky Ballesteros were glad with the “huge turnout.”

“The crowd was a very good manifestation of a more exciting and challenging Sinulog,” Rama said.

Msgr. Robero Alesna, in his homily, said Cebuanos must aspire to have strong faith and to serve others.

He said that politicians should become good instruments of extending service to the people regardless of political color.

After the mass, Rama declared this year's Sinulog celebration open.

Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella and Councilor Dave Tumulak also graced the opening.

Twelve candidates for Ms. Cebu 2015, along with the reigning Ms. Cebu 2014 Dianne Muego and Sinulog Festival Queen 2014 Christine Jael Abellanosa, led the parade aboard vintage cars provided by the Volkswagen Club of Cebu and Global Star Motors Inc.

Dance troupes from 17 schools and universities performed street dancing routines during the parade and inside the CCSC in the tune of four Sinulog-inspired songs.

No one was hurt during the event, said Capa. “Mabait ang mga Cebuano (Cebuanos are nice), very disciplined. That is why I am amazed and it made my job easier than the usual,” he said.