Garcia: Sinulog dance with Labella ‘a symbol of hope’
Lorraine L. Ecarma, Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - January 15, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — According to Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, her dancing with Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella on the Sinulog stage this Sunday is more than just a presentation — it’s “a symbol of hope” for Cebuanos.

The governor is set to share the stage with the mayor, along with the provincial board members and department heads at the Cebu City Sports Center during the Sinulog Grand Parade on January 19. They will be performing with dancers of Siloy Festival from the town of Alcoy, southern Cebu.

Garcia told reporters yesterday that much symbolism goes into the shared presentation between the local government units.

“More than anything else, I think it is such a powerful symbol of hope for the Cebuanos, where the two leaders are together in a dance offering for our beloved Sto. Niño. So I am really very grateful to Mayor Ed Labella for deciding to join us. I believe that was also his reason,” the governor said.

“He saw what a symbol of unity this could be for all Cebuanos and even the entire country to appreciate. And when there is unity, there is so much that we can achieve,” she added.

Labella, for his part, said that Garcia and some people suggested the dance to show that there is unity between the province and the city.

“I just would like to find out what kind of dance because in the first place, I'm not into dancing,” he said in jest, but later stressed that he will consider doing so in the spirit of unity.

He, however, assured that even without the dance, the unity between the province and the city is present.

“Anyway pwede man gihapon wala na... from our acts that we have done, we have shown unity,” he said.

The task of mounting the Sinulog activities falls primarily to the Cebu City government and the Sinulog Foundation Inc.

In support of the production this year, the Capitol has decided to extend P5 million in financial aid to the city or the SFI, an increase from the earlier approved P3 million.

“Apparently the Provincial Board passed a resolution to grant the P3 million request of the SFI… mga sometime June na. It was already the closing days of the previous administration, transition na pud so wala gyud to ma-issue-hi og check,” Garcia explained.

“Pero lahi pud ang atong itabang. Dili na mao akong commitment nga i-release nato ang P3 million. Commitment to sa previous administration. Lahi pud atong itabang,” she said, adding that her administration’s help to the city will be P5 million.

The aid will be turned over once the province decides on which official body to address the check to: the city or SFI.

The “unity” between Garcia and Labella’s administrations in the tourism front became visible during the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo, a showdown of festivals of cities and municipalities in the province and a project of the Capitol.

Labella’s government extended help then by providing the venue, the Cebu City Sports Center, and sending in personnel to ensure safety and security during the event.

Labella said it is important for local governments to work with one another for the benefit of their constituents.

“It should be egoless governance. Kanang wa ba’y mga full of egos. Afterall, this is for the people and so that we can leave a legacy to our people,” he said.

“Anything that is good for them, we’ll work together not minding who gets the credit... egoless. (We should) give the best to our people by working together harmoniously,” he added.  JMD (FREEMAN)

EDGARDO LABELLA GWENDOLYN GARCIA
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