Carcar eyes Cebu City’s Sinulog Festival in 2024

AFTER not joining the Sinulog in Cebu City on Jan. 15, 2023, the contingent from Carcar City in southern Cebu found its glory a week later up north—in the Sinulog sa Carmen.

Carcar City bagged the grand prize of the Sinulog-based competition under the open category, a group of competing contingents from outside Carmen.

Mayor Patrick Barcenas told SunStar Cebu on Sunday, Jan. 22 that they will surely join the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City next year, but he did not mention if the city will join the Sinulog sa Carmen in 2024.

The Carcar City contingent was among the eight contingents from Cebu Province that pulled out on Jan. 12 from competing in the Cebu City Government-organized Sinulog Grand Parade and Ritual Showdown at the South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City on Jan. 15, citing several concerns that included the performers’ safety at the new site.

Barcenas said he is very grateful for their victory as it brings pride and honor to their city.

“The hard work of the children and their trainers are worth it. Thank you. Pit Senyor!” he said.

In the open category’s free interpretation, the Toledo City contingent was declared champion.

For Talisay City’s part, its Tourism Office head Mikki Aznar said that just like in previous Sinulog festivals in Cebu City, their participation can only be finalized after the city’s fiesta which is observed every Oct. 15 of every year.

The Talisay City contingent ranked second to Carcar City in the Sinulog-based category.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia performed with the guest contingent, Consolacion’s Sarok Festival, during the Sinulog sa Carmen’s finale.

The governor thanked the mayors and choreographers who supported her decision that they will perform in Carmen instead of the SRP in Cebu City. She also gave thanks to the Cebu City Government for lending 45 bleachers that were installed along the parade route and inside the Carmen Grandstand for the spectators.

Gacia also shared that in her 14 years of offering the Sinulog dance, this was the first time that she had fallen while performing.

“Apan nakaingon ko (But I told myself), I have been through tougher times than this. I will stand up and perform halad sa atoang pinalanggang (as a tribute to our beloved) Señor Sto. Niño,” said Garcia.

Around 150,000 people attended the Sinulog sa Carmen on Sunday, Jan. 22, based on estimates of the police and the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

Even though the event did not finish until near midnight on Sunday, it was still peaceful, orderly and crime-free and the Carmen Police Station did not record a single incident of pickpocketing, according to the police. (IRT, AYB / PJB)