WITH the sale of alcohol banned within 300 meters of the Sinulog parade route, some businesses along Gen. Maxilom Ave. will be sitting the annual celebration out.
For Larry Marshall, the executive chef of Marshall’s Irish Pub, their Sinulog this year would mean a loss of over P150,000, a big letdown for sales from last year’s P200,000.
Marshall added that since the liquor ban is in full swing on Sunday, they have no business staying open. “We’re just gonna close. Patay ang weekend ko.”
He narrated that he understands the need for precaution. However, he noted that since rowdy drunks in streets are the problem, why not ban liquor outside and not restrict it inside bars?
He added that his pub’s security is very tight. “We can make sure that anyone who gets drunk, we can stop them and we can kick them out.”
Apart from his sentiments, he also says that his bar has been a haven for the Sinulog crowd who merely watch the parade. These regulars would not have that comfort anymore.
A stroll away from Marshall’s Irish Pub is ULTRA, a club that will also be temporarily closed on Sunday.
According to a staff member at ULTRA, Eduard L. Ablain, they will be closing at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Staying closed on Sinulog would mean losses of three-fourths of their earnings from last year’s festivities.
He said that since the public learned that liquor would be banned in the area, customers decreased. He suspects that people might not see Gen. Maxilom Ave. as a party hub anymore.
Eduard is worried that if the liquor ban is maintained, their management would eventually transfer. He pointed out that apart from the businesses, the employees are also at a loss, saying clubs would still survive if the liquor ban becomes a permanent on Sinulog, but its the workers who would have few job hours. “Luoy ang mga trabahante (It’s the workers that suffer).” From the businesses comes patrons who have mixed reactions regarding this year’s Sinulog restrictions.
Josia Duke Dondoyano, a student from the University of San Carlos, agrees with the ban, saying Sinulog is a cultural and religious celebration that should be observed with solemnity.
However a visitor from Cagayan, Bryan Tagarao, begs to differ, saying Sinulog is also a time to enjoy, and the merrymaking won’t be complete without alcohol.
Marshall’s Irish Pub and ULTRA have sent a message to City Hall. Both also joined a meeting at City Hall regarding the alcohol restrictions.
SunStar tried to get the side of other bar owners but they refused to comment. (Tessa Frances T. Aguilar, USJ-R Intern)