POLICE in Cebu estimated around 2.5 million to 3 million people who attended the Sinulog 2024 Grand Parade and Ritual Showdown held at the South Road Properties (SRP) on Sunday, January 21, 2024.
Police Colonel Ireneo Dalogdog, chief of the Cebu City Police Office, said they noticed a huge crowd around 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
He said police personnel were even having a hard time controlling the crowd at Sector 4, or the area where the Sinulog contingents enter the SRP and toward the grand parade venue, near Nustar and SM Seaside.
He said the crowd estimate does not yet include the number of people who gathered at the Cebu City center.
Dalogdog said the people at downtown and uptown Cebu City may have reached around one million, especially those who gathered at Plaza Independencia, Mango Avenue, and malls on North Reclamation Area.
“Mas nidaghan ang mga tawo pagka hapon man nga dili na kaayo init. Kung atoa pang apilon pag ihap ang mainland, siguro mosobra pa sa two million,” he said.
With the crowd, Dalogdog said they deployed 1,500 uniformed personnel to augment the security at the downtown and uptown areas, noting that the people at SRP will transfer to these areas after the grand parade and ritual showdown.
He also said that they also recorded some pickpocket incidents at the Mambaling Police Station, adding that they alerted their personnel to monitor the criminals.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, for his part, said that he is happy to see that the people who attended the Sinulog are more behaved now.
“It is a continuing enjoyment, fun, participants were doing well, and people were amazing, showing some sense of being behaved,” he said.
Rama said they had their emergency meeting where they looked at which areas they needed to improve.
Asked if there were individuals who were apprehended for violation of the liquor ban, Rama said there were none.
Regarding reports about the inadequate areas where people can hide themselves from the extreme heat experienced Sunday, Rama said Sinulog is a walking activity, but stressed that spectators might not have found the tents installed in different areas at the SRP.
Asked if next year’s Sinulog will still be held in the SRP grounds, Rama said he does not want to say “yes,” but he emphasized that he did not have “any change of heart.” (AYB/AML)