MORE mayors in Cebu Province have echoed the call of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to hold the 2024 Sinulog Ritual Showdown Competition at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).
According to Sunday, Dec. 11, 2023 and early Monday reports from Sugbo News, the official media arm of the Cebu Provincial Government, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan, Carcar City Mayor Patrick Barcenas, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, Toledo City Mayor Marjorie Perales, Bantayan Mayor Art Despi, Consolacion Mayor Teresa Alegado, Liloan Mayor Aljew Fernando Frasco, San Fernando Mayor Mytha Canoy and Sogod Mayor Moonyeen Durano-Streegan voiced support for the holding of next month’s Sinulog festivities at the CCSC over the South Road Properties (SRP).
They cited the lack of readiness of the SRP site, and the accessibility of the CCSC to participating contingents and the general public.
They also pointed out that the CCSC is near the Basilica del Sto. Niño, which houses the image of the Child Jesus, or the Señor Sto. Niño.
Daanbantayan Mayor Sun Shimura, in a text message to SunStar Cebu on Monday, said they will not be joining the Sinulog if it will be held at the SRP.
“Next time lang siguro (maybe next time),” he said.
A day earlier, he had already said some of the town’s participants fainted due to the lack of shade when the Sinulog 2023 was held for the first time at the SRP.
SunStar Cebu tried to reach Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr. and Carcar City Mayor Barcenas to ask them if they will send contingents to the event if held at the SRP; however, both officials could not be reached, as of press time. Sugbo News earlier also shared a quote from Gullas voicing his support for bringing the Sinulog back to CCSC.
Talisay and Carcar were among the local government units in the province that included the cities of Naga and Toledo and the towns of Tuburan, Carmen and Moalboal that Governor Garcia pulled out from the Sinulog 2023 because Cebu City insisted on holding the event at the SRP, which Garcia considered to be not prepared to stage the event.
Last Wednesday, Dec. 6, Garcia told Sinulog Foundation Inc. that the Province will support this year’s event and even donate P20 million if it will be held at the CCSC, the traditional venue.
Acting Cebu City Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia also said holding it at the CCSC was a “more logical and practical” option, but added that it was only his opinion.
However, Cebu City Administrator Collin Rosell pointed out on Sunday, Dec. 10, that holding the Sinulog at the CCSC was not feasible due to the ongoing rehabilitation of the sports facility and the implementation of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project along Osmeña Blvd. and N. Bacalso Ave.
The Sinulog Grand Parade and Ritual Showdown are held every third Sunday of January.
A separate Sugbo News report Monday said Acting Mayor Garcia deemed CCSC to be “perfect for the Sinulog” since the rubberized oval would not be damaged by the passage of contingents with their floats and heavy props since the rubber had already been removed, as it was due for replacement.
He was quoted as saying that for him, CCSC was the most practical and least expensive venue because the area is big and it already has bleachers and an oval.
“Didto sa (There at the) SRP, we still have to asphalt pila ka kilometro (some kilometers). That will cost us a few hundreds of millions,” Garcia said.