The Sinulog 2023 ended on Sunday, Jan. 15 without a single drop of rain, but the dancers, revelers and spectators at the South Road Properties (SRP) had to endure the heat as the venue was wide open.
SRP also lacks trees and tall buildings that can provide shade.
The venue’s mud during the rainy days that became the butt of jokes and memes online was gone on Sunday as the contractor was able to complete its asphalting part of the grounds where the dancing contingents, their support crew and the spectators would pass by.
The venue was far from perfect; however, it is understandable because it was the first time that the Sinulog Grand Parade and Ritual Showdown was held in a new venue after its two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Besides, the venue was developed in a rush.
There are some lessons that the organizers and the Cebu City Government under Mayor Michael Rama, who plans to hold Sinulog at the SRP again next year, can learn from.
Firstly, the venue must be prepared a month before the event because if there are needed adjustments, there would still be enough time to carry these out.
The second lesson is that the City must be in constant communication with other local government units that have signed up to join the Sinulog.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia complained that the mayors of local governments that fielded dancing contingents had not been consulted by the Cebu City Government about holding the Sinulog at the SRP.
And lastly, the Cebu City Government must also prepare a comprehensive traffic plan that is tailored to the occasion.
Sunday’s traffic was certainly not managed well, thus resulting in traffic jams in some streets of the city, especially in the ones that lead to the SRP.
Closing roads is not enough. The City must also plan on how to manage vehicular flow in the streets to avoid traffic jams during the Sinulog.