Cebuanos find new ways to celebrate Sinulog
“The Sinulog Foundation will continue through media, through print, television, Facebook, word of mouth,” Vice Mayor Michael Rama said.
STAR/ File

Cebuanos find new ways to celebrate Sinulog

(The Philippine Star) - January 17, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Cebuanos have found new ways to celebrate the Fiesta Señor even with the cancellation of events originally scheduled for Sinulog 2021.

Vice Mayor Michael Rama said yesterday the Cebu City government has lined up various activities, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., that aim to safely relive the joy of festivities from previous years.

“The Sinulog Foundation will continue through media, through print, television, Facebook, word of mouth,” Rama said.

These activities will be featured in a program that will be shared virtually across multiple platforms, including the official webpage of Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI), sinulog.ph, SFI YouTube channel and SFI official Facebook page.

SFI executive committee member Neil Odchigue said activities will begin with a mass at Fort San Pedro, attended by a few local officials and streamed live for Cebuanos.

It will be followed by an introduction and a program featuring taped performances by former Sinulog street dance competition champions, as well as performances from the free interpretation category.

“We will do an intro of the whole event. There will be an explanation on why those are not live performances and we will be highlighting messages from our officials,” Odchigue said.

Winners of other categories like higantes, puppeteers and floats will also be shown, as well as pre-recorded halad (offering category) entries from Las Vegas, New York, Portugal and Taiwan.

“Since 1982, we’ve gathered pictures, footages. In fact, we’ve converted VHS files to DVD files just to make sure we deliver a wonderful presentation. Recordings of the grand firework competitions from previous years will also be shown,” he said.

A different celebration

For devotees of the Señor Santo Niño, this year marks a big difference in celebrating the feast of their patron, a departure from what they are used to.

Food stall owner Agnes Saraga said she barely has customers this Sinulog season, unlike the previous years when people would flock to the area to eat. Their sales used to reach at least P15,000 on Sinulog day, but now, average daily income on Sinulog week is only about P3,000.

“It’s so boring. It’s lonely because no one went to church. The exit is very far. It’s really hard. There is nothing now. Before, we used to buy at the Carbon Market 10 kilos of meat, chicken, fish. Now, it’s just two kilos,” said Saraga.

Devotee Brad Johndel Dalimocon admits that it will be a different celebration this year, as there will be no street parties and physical events. He said that he will just attend the online mass and have a “small food and drink celebration” at home.

“Mixed emotions as the things we used to do were cancelled, but we need to consider and understand because it’s all for our safety,” said Dalimocon.

Peter John Toreta, a Señor Santo Niño devotee for five years, said that he will just stay at home and watch the Sinulog activities that will be showcased through the different platforms.

“It’s not about the street parties or the celebrities or the grand parades because it’s just part of the celebration. The most important thing to be emphasized is the faith and devotion of all Cebuanos to Señor Santo Niño because it is the true meaning and essence of the festival and celebration,” said Toreta. –  The FREEMAN

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