Mayor Labella: No more confusion in Sinulog

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila - The Freeman

I’m truly glad that Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has clarified that the newly-formed Cebu City Sinulog Governing Board (CCSGB) does not have any superior authority over the Sinulog Foundation, Inc., (SFI) an independent non-government organization, helping organize the Sinulog 2020. This clarification by Mayor Labella was made when we wrote a column that at least three officials of the CCSGB claimed Last Monday that the board will serve as the regulatory body that will oversee SFI and its executive committee.

Our good friends, CCSGB event director Val Sandiego, executive director Barney Borja, and member Kenneth Cobonpue claimed during a press conference that they have the right to review and approve all resolutions and actions of the SFI executive committee, but thanks to the clarificatory statement of Mayor Labella, he has practically pointed to the truth that the SFI cannot be controlled or supervised by the CCSGB.

In his statement, Labella, chairman of CCSGB added a note that said that the governing board is responsible for the peace and order, traffic situation, and the disaster preparedness for the Sinulog 2020. He emphasized that the Sinulog governing board and SFI have complementing roles when it comes to the Sinulog preparations. "No one is under or above the other...they are complementary with each other with one ultimate objective - the success of Sinulog 2020," Labella said. Hopefully there will be no more confusion after he issued this statement, so now let’s move forward to prepare for the holding of the Sinulog without any political fanfare.

Meanwhile, the SFI has assured the Cebuanos that they will continue with their preparations as the organizers of the Sinulog festival, "coordinating, complementing, and cooperating" with CCSGB. The SFI has been the organizer of the Sinulog festivities for more than 30 years now

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In another news that happened the other day, at least 3,000 attended the concelebrated Mass that Papal Nuncio archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia presided to launch the quincentennial celebration of the arrival of the image of Señor Santo Niño in Cebu. The Papal Nuncio exhorted Cebuanos to deepen their faith in the child Jesus as the country gears for the 500th year of Christianization in 2021. Archbishop Caccia also led the blessing of the official Santo Niño Pilgrim image and unveiled the “Santo Niño at 500” celebration logo. Honestly, I really don’t know what country Archbishop Caccia comes from, but from his name, he sounds very Italian.

Mind you, the co-host of my catechism show on My TV, Fr. Lucas Inoc, recently travelled to Europe and I asked him about the faith of the people in the nations he visited. He told me that Poland was the nation whose people had very strong faith, especially that in this new century, they had three Poles that became saints; St. Faustina Kowalska, Fr. Maximilian Kolbe, who is the Saint of Auschwitz, and St. Pope John Paul II, who was responsible for the closure of the Soviet Union without firing a single shot.

Their tour group also visited Prague, Czechoslovakia, which has their own version of the Holy Child Jesus, but he didn’t say much about the faith of the Czech people. Anyway, I really don’t know how long Bishop Caccia has been in the Philippines, but if he only looked at our past, especially the 51st Eucharistic Congress, he would have seen the faith of the Cebuano people, where at least two million joined the procession throughout the city.

One thing I liked that Caccia said was "We are called to remain childlike in our life and be adult in our faith, offering the gift we have received to others; We have to grow in faith so that we will bring the fruit of faith and anyone who meets a Christian should be able to savor the good fruits of faith, of a life similar to the life of Jesus."

Meanwhile Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, in his thanksgiving speech, said, "We pray that we grow in faith, hope and love. May we truly be grateful for the gift of Santo Niño with the abiding of our God, Our Father and share this gift to others." At this point, I exhort all Catholic Cebuanos to open their homes to friends from outside of Cebu during the celebration of the 500th Christianization of the Philippines. This is one way to share our common history with our countrymen and friends.

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