Reverting to old Sinulog venues ‘not feasible’

File Photo
File Photo

IT IS just impossible to use the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) as the venue for Sinulog Ritual Showdown in 2024 with the ongoing rehabilitation of the sports facility and the implementation of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project along Osmeña Blvd. and N. Bacalso Ave.

This was the reaction of Cebu City Administrator Collin Rosell after some officials called for the return of the old route and venue of the Sinulog Grand Parade and ritual showdown, respectively.

At any rate, he said, they already agreed to hold the grand parade and ritual showdown at the South Road Properties next year.

“If people are not seeing that (ongoing constructions) then mao siguro daghan pa ang maestorya (maybe that’s the reason why some people are still talking about going back to the old route and venue),” said Rosell in an interview Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023.

Governor’s offer

In a meeting with officials of the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) on Wednesday, Dec. 6, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said the Provincial Government will support Sinulog 2024 and even donate P20 million, but only if it is held at the CCSC, the traditional venue for the cultural event.

Acting Cebu City Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia said a lot of work still needs to be done to prepare the SRP after inspecting the venue last Friday, Dec. 8, adding that the CCSC is still a “more logical and more practical” option.

The acting mayor, though, clarified that this was only his preference and opinion, saying it’s all up to Mayor Michael Rama, who is on vacation leave.

In a Facebook post of Sugbo News, the official media arm of the Provincial Government, Daanbantayan Mayor Sun Shimura also said they might not join the cultural event next year, saying he is hesitant about the new venue.

“As much as we want to sacrifice in a form of dancing to our Child Jesus, I am hesitant on the new venue because the last time, many children had fainted,” said Shimura.

The post was reposted by Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas, with a caption that he agreed with the governor, acting mayor Garcia, and Shimura.

During Sinulog 2023, the governor pulled out all nine contingents of Cebu Province three days before the ritual showdown, citing safety concerns amid the site’s “unreadiness.”

The pullout left just 12 out of the 22 groups that had been slated to perform at the festival.

The contingents that pulled out instead danced at the Sinulog held in Carmen town in northern Cebu the week after, along with Garcia, who performed her 14th Sinulog dance.

Ongoing construction

Rosell said the ongoing rehabilitation of the sports center and the implementation of the CBRT project make it impossible to hold the cultural event in the CCSC.

CBRT manager Norvin Imbong earlier said they target to finish the dedicated lanes for the first package of CBRT by Jan. 15, or before the celebration of the Fiesta Señor and the Sinulog.

The rehabilitation of the CCSC, specifically the replacement of the rubberized oval track, is set to be completed in February, according to earlier reports.

CCSC is also the main venue for the Palarong Pambansa which the City Government will be hosting in July.

Rosell urged people to help the City fast track preparations for the Sinulog festival.

“If they see something needs to be improved, they tell us so we can work on it, di lang ta magsige’g estorya (instead of just talking about it),” said Rosell.

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