Stop the confusion on the Sinulog bodies
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila ( - November 14, 2019 - 12:00am

Is it true that all activities that Cebu City will undertake in the upcoming Sinulog Festival will go through the newly-created Cebu City Sinulog Governing Board (CCSGB). This was the report I got from the group's officers. One of the officers is designer Kenneth Cobonpue, who said that the activities prepared by the governing board do not need the approval of the long-existing Sinulog Foundation Inc. as CCSGB will serve as the regulatory board that will oversee SFI and its executive committee.

What is really going on here? Have they thrown away the SFI simply because there is now a new political order? How does this relate to the statement issued by Vice Mayor Michael Rama, former SFI chairman, that all activities presented by CCSGB for the Sinulog should be approved by SFI? If you ask me, politics seems to have ruled the Sinulog when in fact for the many years we’ve seen the Sinulog, politics was never an issue.

To clear the air, I gathered that Kenneth said that SFI is the one responsible for the funds, while CCSGB Executive Director Barney Borja also said the governing board is coordinating with SFI for the event preparations. So why are we seeing all these remarks when supposedly the CCSGB still recognizes the SFI? If there is anything Cebuanos would like to see, it is a joint meeting between the CCSGB and the SFI Board just to show that there is no confusion between these two.


Incidentally, we learned that Pope Francis has recently appointed Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma as a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The 69-year-old prelate was among the eight new members appointed by the Pope to the dicastery, according to a bulletin released by the Holy See Press Office. He is the only Asian among the appointees, who are mostly Europeans. This is great news for Cebu so that finally we can impress on our European counterparts that in 2021, Cebu will be celebrating its 500 years as the first Southeast Asian nation to adopt Catholicism.

Notice that I did not use the word Christianity simply because 500 years ago, Catholicism was under duress by the Protestant Movement that overcame most European nations which were once strongly Catholics. But here in Cebu, we will be celebrating our Catholicism, something that no European nation seems to have observed.

So the appointment of Msgr. Palma is certainly a positive act by Pope Francis. According to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) News, Bishop Palma will now work with the dicastery led by Italian Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi while attending to his pastoral work in Cebu.

The members of the council will represent the dicastery on important occasions and oversee other activities.  Bishop Palma has been serving Cebu, which is the country’s largest archdiocese since 2011 and he also served the president of the CBCP from 2011 to 2013.


I read The FREEMAN's headline yesterday which revealed that the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-7 has closed for three months from November 15, 2019 to February 2020 a portion of the Visayan Sea from commercial fishing for sardines, mackerel, and herring to allow fish stocks to recover during the spawning season. According to BFAR-7 Director Alfeo Piloton, sardines and herring are known in the Visayas as tamban or malalangsi and tuloy, respectively, while mackerel is called tamaro or anduhaw.

According to Director Piloton, he exhorted our local officials especially belonging to the coastal communities to cooperate with the bureau in its effort to conserve and protect existing marine species in the Visayan Sea. Among the coastal areas in Cebu Island that bound the Visayan Sea are Bogo City and the towns of San Remegio, Daanbantayan, and Medellin.

This also includes Bantayan Island, comprising of the towns of Santa Fe, Bantayan, and Madridejos, which according to environmentalist Atty. Tony Oposa was the center of the center of our eco-diversity.

While I fully agree that finally the BFAR is making this great decision to close parts of the Visayan Sea from fishermen in order to restock our fishes, the question really remains if the local government units can support this move. Anyway it is only for three months. So let’s get on with it.

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