Sinulog 2025 still at SRP

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT - Atty. Ruphil Bañoc - The Freeman

There’s no doubt that Sinulog 2024 was successful. It was, on the whole, peaceful. That is why I would like to congratulate our hardworking policemen and policewomen. The task of ensuring peace and order is always a tough one.

Of course, some doubt the police estimate the number of people who attended the grand parade and ritual showdown. As a media man, I know there is a scientific way of counting or estimating how big or small a crowd is. The three million estimate may have been an exaggeration. Still, that fact will not diminish the efforts of the many ordinary cops who were not involved in giving the estimate.

The heated exchanges online on the issue of the venue of Sinulog have also been significantly reduced. And I don’t think many people wished the celebration to be unsuccessful.

So far, the lamest defense I’ve heard is the “If you don’t want the venue to be at SRP, then don’t go there” defense. At the most, it does not address the issue. At the very least, it reeks of blind loyalty.

At any rate, it has dawned on me that Mayor Michael L. Rama will not change his mind about the venue as long as he is still the mayor. For two Sinuolgs held at SRP, I have asked the mayor to use the Cebu City Sports Center while the SRP still needs to be prepared and presentable. But the mayor has been very firm already of his decision.

Should the holding of the grand parade and the ritual showdown still be at the SRP, I have a few suggestions. These are also based on recommendations from non-partisan individuals or those who do not care a lot about politics. All they want is to see a grand Sinulog celebration.

The main concern to address is that it is too hot at the SRP. You have to be utterly insensitive if you deny this fact. This can be solved by planting trees around the area so that participants and those who watch the grand parade and ritual showdown can find places to take cover from the sun's excruciating heat. That's part of the long-term plan. The immediate solution is to put additional tents where people can hide from the sun's heat.

Changing the time when the grand parade starts and ends should also be considered. Like the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo, it will not start while the sun's heat is still at its peak. Sinulog can do the same. They will control the gap between presentations and the politicians who will hijack the time allotted for the event.

Let us also improve our traffic management. We cannot have a repeat of the monstrous traffic we experienced this year.

Moreover, the mayor must also deflate the persistent perception that the choice of SRP as the venue is motivated by mere greed for profit by some surrounding companies. This can be done by relaxing the policy on ordinary vendors. Sinulog is a time for many small businesspeople to earn. It's heartless to deny them that opportunity.

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