20 contingents sign up for Sinulog 2021 ritual showdown
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Sinulog 2021 organizers may have experienced setbacks in their preparations as a result of the pandemic, but they announced on Monday, Dec. 28, that at least 20 groups have already signified their interest to join next year’s ritual showdown.
“We already have a list of those who wanted to join. As of now (December 28), there are 20 contingents both for the Sinulog Based and Free Interpretation categories,” said former Cebu City Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera, the chairperson of the Cebu City Tourism Commission (CCTC) who also sits as the executive committee chair for Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI).
On Sunday, Dec. 27, Vice Mayor Michael Rama confirmed the transfer of the venue of the ritual showdown from the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) grounds to the South Road Properties (SRP).
READ: Rama: Sinulog 2021 ritual showdown in SRP
Pesquera said city officials and members of SFI, the lead organizer of the annual Sinulog celebration, decided on the transfer to ensure compliance with minimum health standards.
“We have to take into consideration the safety of everyone. We chose SRP since it’s easier for us to isolate the area and that we can control the number of dancers or performers once they do the ritual showdown,” Pesquera said.
Since its inception 40-years ago, most of the Sinulog’s ritual showdown have been held at the CCSC grounds in downtown Cebu City, located approximately nine kilometers away from the SRP.
But because of threats of the coronavirus disease, organizers agreed that the CCSC grounds is no longer an ideal venue for the Sinulog 2021 ritual showdown, Pesquera said.
“This coming Sinulog, we will not be using CCSC. Right now, portions of the CCSC is being used to house policeman augmented here to help enforce health protocols,” she said.
“Also, the CCSC is located in an area where people can easily access it and if we do the ritual showdown there, crowd gathering is highly possible and we don’t want that to happen,” she added.
While they move the competition to another venue, Pesquera said that the gathering of spectators will not be allowed at the SRP.
Performances by the participating contingents will be aired via live stream for everyone to see.
Organizers have also decided to reduce the number of performers by 50 percent to avoid from crowding the stage.
“We will be reducing each component of a contingent by 50 percent. Let’s say if there are 50 members for their drums and bugle, we will only be allowing 25 to perform,” said Pesquera.
She said that members of the different contingents will not be allowed to stay at the venue before and after their performances. They will be asked to stay at their designated billeting areas before and after they perform on the grandstand stage.
“It’s going to be ‘Dance-In-Dance-Out’. No one will be staying in the venue. And performers will be prohibited from mingling from participants from other contingents,” Pesquera said.
The city government has allocated P25 million for Sinulog 2021.
Pesquera said city officials wanted to push through with the celebration that is held every third Sunday of January as part of their effort to stir economic activities that was adversely affected by the pandemic.
“We have to come up with the event to help our economic activities especially in situations like this. This is an investment by the government for our economy,” she said. / dcb
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