Raymond Garcia backs return of Sinulog 2024 venue to Cebu City Sports Center

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | December 10,2023 - 11:31 AM

A photo of Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia and Governor Gwen Garcia during Vice Mayors League of the Philippines (VLMP) Cebu Chapter Year-End General Assembly and Christmas Fellowship in a hotel in Cebu City on December 9. | Courtesy of Sugbo News

DANAO CITY, Cebu — Besides Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, Acting Cebu City Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia has voiced his support for hosting the Sinulog 2024 back at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).

According to Capitol’s official media arm, Sugbo News, Raymond said that it is “more logical and more practical” to hold the grand parade and showdown competition at the CCSC rather than the South Road Properties (SRP), after he saw the situation in the venue on December 8, Friday.

He said that it might be difficult to hold the event at the SRP next year.

“Although he (Raymond) said he recognizes the efforts of Engr. Pericles (Ricky) Dakay, the contractor in charge of putting together the venue, but Garcia has reservations that there would not be enough time to finish the job,” Sugbo News noted in its report.

Last December 6, Gov. Garcia had a meeting with the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) executive director Elmer “Jojo” Labella, together with Cinbeth Orellano, Cebu City chief protocol officer, Engr. Ricky Dakay of Dakay Construction, Provincial Board member Red Duterte, and provincial tourism pfficer Marti Ybañez to discuss the province’s participation in the upcoming Sinulog.

“This is final. Musugot ko kung adto tas Abellana because I cannot risk again unsa unya’y mahitabo…Ang mayor ma blame, ako ma blame, more so, kung pasayawon sa mga ginikanan ang mga bata kay mao ra gihapon ang estado, di mi kapugos,” she was quoted as saying.

The governor made this comment after she inspected the venue at the SRP and saw that until now she had seen no improvements on the venue which raised several concerns during Sinulog 2023 earlier this year.

READ: Gwen raises concerns on SRP as Sinulog venue

Among the concerns raised were the muddy terrain, traffic, security, and the health of the performers.

During their meeting on December 6, the governor said that bringing the Sinulog to the CCSC could bring back the “soul of the Sinulog,” especially that the province would donate the usual P20 million to SFI.

On the other hand, Labella told her that the organizing committee was still finalizing the venue, and assured to give her an update once there would be a final decision.

Aside from Raymond Garcia, Talisay City Mayor SamSam Gullas, Daanbantayan Mayor Sun Shimura, and Tudela Mayor Greman Solante also expressed their agreement in holding the Sinulog back to Abellana, considering the safety of their contingents.

To recall, a total of 10 contingents backed out from the Sinulog in Cebu City after they experienced difficulties during their blocking and rehearsals at the SRP in January this year.

READ: Sinulog 2024 : Preparations underway, SFI director says

As of press time, the SFI has not yet made an announcement on the change of venue for Sinulog 2024.

Labella has reassured that preparations for Sinulog 2024 at the SRP are more advanced compared to 2023. /clorenciana

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TAGS: Cebu City, Sinulog 2024

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