Cebu City begins planning of Sinulog 2021
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City government has officially begun planning for the 2021 Sinulog festival that will run from January 8 to January 17, 2021.
The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño priests, the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI), and the other public officials of the city government conducted a walkthrough around the possible route of the motorcade planned for the Fiesta Señor.
Councilor Philip Zafra, chairperson of the City Council’s committee on public order, told CDN Digital that instead of the traditional procession held every eve of the Fiesta Señor, there would be a motorcade.
The motorcade may travel through the usual routes or take on a longer route so more people can witness the Sto. Niño’s passing and avoid the crowding of people in a limited space.
The final route has yet to be established and will not be finalized until January 2021, but the city is already studying all possibilities and will choose the best route that will prevent crowding.
Although the city will not allow devotees to join the motorcade, they expect these devotees to wait along the motorcade route, risking the possibility of violating the social distancing protocol.
“Whether it is a long or short route, we can expect people to the crowd and we want to avoid that. This is a time when people really put their faith on Sto. Niño,” said Zafra.
Furthermore, there will be no fluvial procession on Sinulog 2021 to prevent crowding.
To encourage people to stay home, the city government is planning a more extensive coverage of the motorcade and all other Sinulog activities so that people can watch these activities online.
The Basilica Minore is already planning to live-stream the Novena Masses to parishes in the Archdiocese of Cebu so that devotees will not have to go to the Basilica.
However, since the city anticipates the devotees to still want to hear the Novena Mass in the Basilica, the police and the CDRRMO plans to close the roads surrounding the Basilica as early as December 16, 2020, or the start of the Misa de Gallo.
This way, the city government, and the police can study the best way to control the movement of the people and maintain the health protocols with ease come Sinulog 2021.
Zafra said they would want to plan the Sinulog 2021 delicately because the city could not risk the health of its people.
The councilor also plans to propose a virtual grand parade for the Sinulog Festival instead of the usual mardi gras.
He said that participants could perform through live streaming taking out the necessity for participants to travel to the city.
This proposal will be submitted to the SFI and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF). Only activities approved by the IATF will push through in the coming Sinulog./dbs
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