Letigio: What I miss from downtown Sinulog

Letigio: What I miss from downtown Sinulog
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The SRP is beautiful, but it doesn’t bring together the entire island. The issue has sowed division politically and it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth

This year’s Fiesta Señor is as lively as it has been for decades, finally returning to its pre-pandemic state. After completing the nine novena masses, I can confidently say that Cebuanos and the devotees of the Sto. Niño are thirsty for his blessings.

The streets are filled with vendors selling candles, fans, foldable chairs, food, toys, balloons, and everything festive.

Everything looks almost the same as before except that silence and loneliness are echoing through Cebu City streets.

And I think I recognize what’s missing.

Ever since the Sinulog Festival was transferred to the South Road Properties (SRP), the downtown area has become like a wilting forest during the Sinulog Festival.

Establishments no longer felt the need to present an extravagant facade to bring customers in. Why should they? There will be no grand parade.

While Sinulog sa Dakbayan and Sinulog sa Lalawigan brought Osmeña Boulevard to life temporarily from Jan. 13 to 14, it was lackluster at best. It will never be the same grandeur as the actual grand parade.

I miss it. I miss it terribly.

The parties held by establishments, restaurants, and bars in a huge marketing spectacle to bring in customers were what created a Sinulog subculture that people will remember.

I remember passing through Baseline to foam and paint parties and people thoroughly enjoying themselves. This is a once-in-a-year party and everyone wants to be a part of it.

Yes, the traffic annoyed me, the crowd was borderline dangerous, and drunk people always found a way to cause a ruckus. But it was fun.

I’m not sure if we will ever see the same Sinulog again, the kind of Sinulog we became known for internationally.

The SRP is beautiful, but it doesn’t bring together the entire island. The issue on Sinulog Festival’s venue has sowed division politically and it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

People who can’t afford to travel far will never get to enjoy the grand parade. There are no establishments in the SRP to meet the needs of spectators, it’s simply inconvenient.

The SRP will never be the same Sinulog that we grew up in and love. And perhaps I only seek for nostalgia, but I also crave for community.

The downtown Sinulog allowed more people to show their kindness to others. Establishments opened their doors, people could bring their families to watch from the upper floors of their work buildings. Hospitals were close by for any emergency.

And most especially, the downtown Sinulog was close to the Basilica. It allowed people to celebrate close to the Niño. Their glee can be heard from the Basilica.

I think Sto. Niño would be happy to hear His people so happy. That is what I truly miss.


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