Sinulog at SRP ‘hot, poorly organized’

Sinulog at SRP ‘hot, poorly organized’
Photo by Earl Padronia

SOME three million people flocked to the South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City to watch the Sinulog Grand Parade and Grand Ritual Showdown on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024.

The crowd estimate was provided by the Cebu City Police Office.

Scorching temperatures didn’t deter revelers from watching 17 contingents compete for the grand prize of P3 million in both the free interpretation and Sinulog-based categories. They sought cover wherever they could find it.

However, the contingents, which included four guest performers, weren’t so lucky.

They voiced their dissatisfaction, citing the venue as uncomfortably hot and the program poorly organized.

Dancers faced intense challenge due to extreme heat.

A handler of Pundok Baniladhadnon of Banilad, Cebu City, who asked not to be named, said the dancers were already feeling the strain of the scorching temperature even before they started performing.

The handler said they had to bring three dancers to the hospital after they fainted.

The temperature hit 30.8 degrees Celsius at 2 p.m. with a relative humdity of 60 percent and a heat index of 35 degrees Celsius, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration Mactan Station, prompting it to advise the public to exercise extreme caution.

Aside from dealing with the heat, the handler said the dancers had been up since the wee hours of the morning because of the very early call time.

Despite these circumstances, members of the different contingents maintained high spirits, according to their choreographers.

They said they had to be resilient since their performance was an offering to the Señor Sto. Niño.

“Among giagwanta ang kainit, bahala’g unsay problema amo na lang sulbaron nga amoa kay wala na mi mahimo kay mao na man jud ang lugar,” the handler said.

(We endured the heat. Whatever problem we encountered we had to solve on our own since there was nothing else we could do because that was the condition at the venue.)

The handler said they preferred Abellana (Cebu City Sports Center) as a venue rather than the grounds at the South Road Properties because the route to the grandstand has trees on both sides that provide shade from the sun.

The handler also said the event is not really that well organized, adding that they were not able to eat lunch on time because they were told that they were about to perform but ended up waiting for almost an hour.

The handler said there was no proper coordination.

However, Alfred Rivera, an English teacher at the Divino Amore Academy of Tribu Divinohanon, said they were thankful to be able to join the grand showdown.

Rivera said this is their first time to join as a contingent.

He described the event as overall good, although there is room for improvement.

He said he hopes dancers will be provided with adequate shelter if the Sinulog will still be held at the SRP next year.

Spotted in the crowd were Sen. Risa Hontiveros and lawyer-educator Chel Diokno, as well as former senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.

All three thanked the Cebuanos for their warm welcome.

Aside from Hontiveros, Senators Christopher “Bong” Go and Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa were also at the venue to deliver messages on stage. (AML with reports from KJF, HIC)

Read: Sinulog 2024 updates


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