CEBU CITY, Philippines — All nine contingents from Cebu province will be withdrawing from the Ritual Showdown of the Sinulog Festival should the venue of the event still be at the South Road Properties (SRP), Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia announces on Thursday, Jan. 12.
But should the organizers of this year’s festival go back to hold the festivities at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC), Garcia said, then they would not be pulling out from the competition.
“If, however, there should be a change of plans and eventually the showdown will be held at the Abellana grounds, then with much joy, and with all passion, all of us will greatly join the Grand Ritual Showdown at the Abellana grounds,” she said.
The governor made this announcement following concerns from contingents over their rehearsal at the venue earlier on Thursday.
She also said she consulted all mayors from the nine participating contingents, and all agreed that the state of the venue would be risky for their performers.
The participating contingents from Cebu province are Toledo City, Talisay City, Carcar City, Carmen, Moalboal, Tuburan, Naga City, Mandaue City, and Consolacion, which will be performing alongside with Garcia.
She also confirmed that she would not be performing her traditional Sinulog dance at the SRP.
Before Garcia announced her decision, more local officials voiced out their concerns on holding this year’s Sinulog Festival.
The latest was Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas who took to social media to appeal to Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama on holding the Ritual Showdown for the Sinulog at the SRP.
Gullas pointed out that their performers struggled during their blocking and practice at the SRP on Thursday.
Some of the concerns he raised included no power, no shade, no dedicated holding area for performers, and that the muddy terrain towards the stage had damaged some of their props.
“If there are no change of plans, I have no other choice, in order to protect the constituents especially our children, from the Province of Cebu,” Garcia told reporters during Thursday’s press conference.
As of Thursday, officials from Cebu City said the venue of the Sinulog Festival would still remain at the SRP.
Should they proceed with their plans, Garcia said all nine contingents would instead be performing at the Sinulog sa Carmen on Jan. 22.
On the other hand, the governor said she would not be withdrawing the support the Capitol extended to the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI).
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