SEVERAL out-of-town contingents have started to arrive in Cebu City, a few days shy of the Sinulog Grand Parade slated on Sunday.
The first to arrive is the contingent from Catbalogan City, Samar, which is a first timer in the Sinulog competition. They arrived last Saturday.
Despite being affected by typhoon Seniang, the contingent’s choreographer Janneil Mainar said they decided to join the Sinulog to offer prayers and thanks Señor Sto. Niño.
When they perform on Sunday, Mainar said they will be short of three dancers and one choir member since they died at the height of typhoon Seniang. Catbalogan is supposed to have 96 dancers and an eight-member choir.
The three dancers died after their house was buried in a landslide caused by Seniang’s non-stop rain. The choir member was also killed in another landslide.
Mainar said he decided not to replace them as a show of respect to the departed.
“No other person ang mo-parallel sa ka-maayo nila. Di lalim sad ilisan kay di sad to sila gusto mawala (They were hard to replace. Also, I didn’t think they’d want to be replaced),” he said.
Mainar said the vacant spots when they dance onstage on Sunday will be a reminder to the audience of the lives lost during the last storm.
For their performance, Mainar said they will focus on the need to take care of the environment.
Sinulog Foundation Inc. executive director Ricky Ballesteros said the people need to look out for the contingent from Catbalogan.
“I saw them practice and their movements are very synchronized. Their movements also are very unique,” he said.
Aside from Catbalogan, two contingents from Placer, Masbate arrived last Sunday. The contingents from Abuyog and Alang-Alang, Leyte arrived yesterday.
The contingents will be housed in several schools in the city, including Abellana National School, Cebu City Central School, Zapatera Elementary School and Labangon Elementary School.