EDITORIAL - Beginning of the end for Sinulog
(The Freeman) - January 19, 2016 - 9:00am

Unless those in charge of the Sinulog, be it the city government or the Sinulog Foundation, do something about the rowdiness and hooliganism being induced by unbridled drinking and very possibly the taking of drugs, we might as well start kissing the festival goodbye. It may not happen next year. It may not happen in five years. But unless these evil offspring of the Sinulog are seized by their horns and done away with, the death of the Sinulog becomes inevitable.

Anyone who has seen the Sinulog for what it really is -- a festival of dance rituals -- will eventually tire of the dances. Overall, the dances and costumes do not vary from one another, year after year. What has really kept the Sinulog going over the decades is the sense of fun, of release from the humdrum. Once rowdiness and hooliganism succeed in taking the fun away, when for one's safety it becomes better to watch it all on tv, then you know the Sinulog is living on borrowed time.

But we do not want that to happen. The Sinulog has become one of the greatest showcases of Cebu, and of the Cebuano. Through the Sinulog, and the tourism it promotes, the business it brings, and the cultural and historical insights it imparts, we have been able to put the best of Cebu and the Cebuano forward. We should not allow rowdiness and hooliganism to overshadow all of these gains. And all because of alcohol and drugs.

Perhaps the unbelievable experience of having been in the Sinulog has so far succeeded in obscuring complaints of violence, harassment, physical abuse and property damage suffered during episodes of rowdiness and hooliganism. But the facts will bear out the truth that these complaints are increasing in both number and examples -- of mashing, bottle-throwing, actual fights, blocking of vehicles and threatening of their occupants, and outright vandalism.

These complaints are not just verbal narrations of harrowing experiences passed on from victim to sympathetic ear. They are not just mentioned in local radio and tv reports or papers with limited circulation. They are all over social media whose global reach sends alarm bells ringing in every gadget of every person on earth who has one. This is a big blackeye Cebu can neither hide nor ignore.

Does the Sinulog need drunken rowdiness and drug-fired hooliganism to be fun and exciting? This is a question Cebuanos must answer themselves, especially those who are in charge of the festival. One thing to remember though -- the Sinulog started modestly, like every Cebuano would on the threshold of discovery. It was a one block affair, meaning it just went around the Basilica of the Santo Niño.

It was, in fact, an attempt to institutionalize devotion to the Holy Child. There was still a sense of a communion with God in those first few steps. In its modesty, Sinulog as a festival did not overshadow Sinulog the devotional dance. It did not change the meaning of Fiesta Señor. In the early days, it was still Fiesta Señor, with Sinulog added as attraction after the Mass. Today, ask people what the third Sunday of January is and chances are God only plays second fiddle in there.

ATILDE BASILICA OF THE SANTO NI CEBU CEBU AND THE CEBUANO CEBUANO DOES THE SINULOG FIESTA SE HOLY CHILD SINULOG SINULOG FOUNDATION SUNDAY OF JANUARY
Philstar
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with