EVERY Sinulog, for the past 11 years, SunStar Cebu brought the religious and cultural activities of Cebu’s festival to devotees and fans outside the island.
This year, SunStar will continue to report on the festival through live streaming, social media and website updates, in photo and video contributions from the public and real-time interviews with people on the streets.
The SunStar website at www.sunstar.com.ph pioneered the live streaming of Sinulog activities in 2009. There was no social media yet at that time but followers enjoyed the real-time coverage they viewed on the website.
A Cebuana in New Jersey in the US turned up the volume of her computer to dance the Sinulog before her children. It was like we were home, she said then.
The streaming of Sinulog activities live over the internet is the popular way for those outside of Cebu to take part in the celebration, albeit in a virtual manner. This is the reason a deal to make live streaming exclusive to only one media organization would rob people, already following the SunStar live streaming of the Sinulog, of the chance to enjoy it this year.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, fortunately, saw how the exclusivity agreement would limit access to Cebu’s annual event and decided to open up live streaming coverage of the grand parade on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020.
The grand parade is the highlight of SunStar’s special coverage that started with the novena masses, continued with the foot procession Saturday, and today’s grand parade. It will end with the awarding of winners Monday.
SunStar’s streaming may be viewed on www.sunstar.com.ph and on the social media accounts of SunStar Cebu, Superbalita Cebu and SunStar Philippines.
If the government orders telecommunications companies to jam mobile phone signals, video replays will be available on the same accounts. Public safety, without a doubt, still outweighs the benefits of live streaming,
SunStar partners for this coverage are PLDT, Smart Communications, Primary Homes and Filipino Homes.
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Reminders: The ban on alcohol and fireworks during the Sinulog is understandable and not new. Balloons are placed in the same category.
Alcohol and fireworks can harm persons, balloons that end up in the sea can endanger marine life and indirectly humans. Banned are parties that spill to the streets, the sale of alcohol within specific boundaries in the city, indiscriminate use of firecrackers and, in the same breath, the selling or releasing of balloons in any Sinulog activity.
Past Sinulog celebrations saw devotees release balloons with their petitions as their way of sending prayers to the Sto. Niño. This practice has been disallowed because when these balloons deflate, some of them end up in the sea.
There’s also the startling sound of a balloon bursting and the scare it may cause in a sea of devotees.
May we all have an enjoyable and peaceful Sinulog final parade.