THE grand prize for the champions of the free interpretation and Sinulog-based categories of the Sinulog Grand Ritual Showdown on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024, has been raised from P1 million to P3 million.
Cash prizes for the second to fifth placers in each category have also been raised.
Second place will now get P2 million instead of P700,000; third place, P1.5 million instead of P500,000; fourth place, P1 million instead of P300,000; and fifth place, P750,000 instead of P200,000.
The Sinulog Grand Parade and the Grand Ritual Showdown will be held at the South Road Properties.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama made the announcement during a press conference on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024, which was also attended by Sinulog Foundation Inc. executive director Elmer Labella.
Rama, however, did not announce any changes to the prizes of the other competitions, including street dancing.
In a follow-up phone call on Wednesday afternoon, the mayor explained that the prize increase is mainly a result of the “euphoric effect” stemming from the series of Sinulog activities conducted since last year.
He also cited the favorable outcomes of the Sinulog sa Dakbayan and Sinulog sa Lalawigan held last Jan. 13 and 14, respectively, at the Cebu City Sports Center.
“The incoming and the ensuing still more of exhilarating activities to look forward to and bringing more of Senior Sto. Niño’s miracle and putting all of this together,” he said.
Carcar City, the grand champion in last Sunday’s Sinulog sa Lalawigan, received P3.5 million; Talisay City (second place), P2.4 million; City of Naga (third place), P1.5 million; Mandaue City (fourth place), P1.2 million; and Toledo City (fifth place), P900,000.
The majority of the prize money came from the Cebu Provincial Government.
When asked about the status of the venue, Rama told SunStar Cebu that “we never stopped to make it ready.”
He said it is going to be ready before Sunday; however, they will continuously “make it ready” while the event is not yet over.
Rama pointed out that the competing contingents started their blocking and performance practices at the SRP venue two weeks ago yet.
On Tuesday, Jan. 16, it was announced that 14 contingents will be competing in the Sinulog Grand Parade and Grand Ritual Showdown, 12 of which had competed in the Sinulog sa Dakbayan. The other two are out-of-towners.
In addition, the Masskara Festival of Bacolod City and the Chunchun Nongak Preservation Association of the Republic of Korea will participate as guest performers.
Rama said they have scheduled another cluster meeting on Thursday, Jan. 18, with Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) members to deliberate on potential changes in their preparations.
Based on the document containing the approved 2024 annual budget, the Cebu City Government allocated P80 million for Sinulog activities, up from the SFI’s budget of P35 million the year before.