By Junex Doronio
January 13, 2023
The colorful world-renowned Sinulog festival before the pandemic. (Sugbo.ph photo courtesy)
CEBU CITY — Anticipating unfavorable weather and an unprepared venue, Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia has locked horns with Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama over the issue of holding the Mardigras-style celebration of the Catholic festival Sinulog at the South Road Properties (SRP) where last year’s UniTeam rally of then-presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and running mate then Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte drew almost half a million spectators.
Garcia disclosed that 10 contingents have decided to pull out from this Sunday’s Sinulog Grand Parade if Rama will push through with holding the event at the SRP that critics have predicted to become a “muddy show” due to anticipated bad weather.
“We will never stop, we will never stop,” Rama said.
“Too much has already been done,” Rama stressed when asked by reporters on the sidelines of the “Walk for Mary” early Friday morning, January 13.
Garcia earlier expressed her desire to hold the Sinulog at its usual venue inside the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) — popularly called Abellana — but Rama stood firm that the Sinulog Grand Parade and showdown will be at the SRP.
It was gathered that the 10 contingents that would no longer perform are those of Carmen, Carcar City, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Moalboal, Naga City, Talisay City, Tuburan, Toledo City and the Consolacion guest contingent to be led by the governor herself.
Garcia had promised to dance the traditional Sinulog which festivities that usually draw over a million people from all over the world were halted for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, she assured this writer that the provincial government would still continue to support the Sinulog Foundation Inc. and provide her P20-million pledge.
Meanwhile, Pagasa Visayas weather bureau chief Al Quiblat said the low-pressure area (LPA) looming in the country is less likely to develop into a tropical cyclone or tropical depression.
He said there could be light to moderate and occasional heavy rains or scattered rain showers until Saturday, January 14, when the seaborne procession will be conducted at the Mactan Channel.
Quiblat added that Sunday, January 15, when the Sinulog Grand Parade will be held, is expected to be partly cloudy to cloudy or to have generally fair weather with less chance of rain of only 50 percent. (ai/mtvn)