Public asked to pray, help

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama
Cebu City Mayor Michael RamaPhoto by Arkeen Larisma

CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama has sought “help and prayers” from everyone as his final instructions for the celebration of “Sinulog sa Sugbo Philippines 2024: Still One Cebu Island.”

“Ampo nga ang tanan membro sa Sinulog makatutok (Pray that all members of the Sinulog will be able to focus). Ampo nga naay maayo nga panlawas (Pray that everyone will be in good health). Unya, nga ang atong nga bisita (Then, that our guests) that they would be part of a deserving, of orderly and peaceful Sinulog. Tabang nga dili mangita og sayop (Help that there won’t be any nitpicking). Tabang nga magsulti sa tinuod (Help that everyone will be truthful). Tabang sa pagbehave (Help so that everyone behaves),” Rama said.

In an interview on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024, Rama said he is excited to witness a “kaleidoscopic” celebration of Sinulog at the South Road Properties (SRP).

Though he did not disclose his plans about the venue, Rama admitted that preparations at the site were not completely finished but that they would be.

Rama said they are just doing their jobs to ensure a meaningful celebration of Sinulog 2024.

Asked if the improvements in the venue were based on assessments from last year, he said, “Yes.”

“Of course, we have to come up with something better than before, and in fact, we are also preparing it as part of the venue of Palarong Pambansa,” he said.

He said the Palarong Pambansa will have its opening at the Cebu City Sports Center, but the closing ceremony will be held at the SRP where the Sinulog Grand Parade and Grand Ritual Showdown will take place.

He said he wants the whole country and the world to know that Cebu has a “world-class” SRP.

Asked if President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte will attend the Sinulog Festival, Rama said he has no idea but added that the officials were invited.

“If they will, praise the Lord. If they will not come, praise the Lord,” Rama said.

He said he invited Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and the mayors in Cebu Province to come as well. Citing the heat among other concerns, Garcia has objected to the use of the SRP as site for the Sinulog Festival. As of Jan. 16, no contingent from the towns and cities under Cebu Province had expressed its intention to join the competition at the SRP this year.

Seventeen dance contingents will perform at the Sinulog grand showdown on Sunday, Jan. 21.

Meanwhile, the mayor said members of the police already know what they ought to do to secure the crowd. “I keep reminding them that when the cat is away, the mouse will play. Vulnerability will always be there. Do not lower your guard. All should be vigilant,” Rama said.

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