Espina: Sinulog and onward

Mila C. Espina

OUR devotion to the Sto. Niño is not only felt during the nine days of novena, the solemn procession, the street festival or the many other events. It is timeless.

Cebu never rests, just like the gaiety of New York. But here in our midst, the religious, cultural activities kept us so busy. However, while before we could hop from one event to the other, now it is humanly impossible to reach a destination due to unbearable traffic. Ah, cars, not to mention so many types of transportation, grow in number but our narrow roads and diversified routes just couldn’t cope. Yet, Cebu is still fun. The tourism arrivals continue to increase.

The following welcomed 2020: The 2020 Spring Festival Reception of the People’s Republic of China in Cebu led by Consul General Jia Li; The Sinulog Sugbusog Culinary Journey at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu; A gala dinner by the Cebu City Tourism Commission (CCTC) launching the new brand “Celebrate Cebu.”

I am happy about the new brand, a sequence from “Cebu, Where the Heart Sings,” crafted by then Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In fact, it would have been “Celebrate Cebu, Where the Heart Sings.” But majority of the team then opted to shorten the brand to “Cebu, Where the Heart Sings” to define Cebu’s culture, arts and music. This year’s new theme more appropriately delineates Cebu’s tradition of celebrating history and tradition, like fiestas, cultural events, among others. Kudos to CCTC! I couldn’t make it to the gala event due to some urgent family matters.


It was a like a homecoming when Jimmy Picornell, Nelia Neri, Chinggay Utzurrum and I had dinner at the Cowrie Cove at Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort and Spa where we met its new general manager, Christian Nannuci, and Melissa Ann Santiago, director of sales and marketing.

We were ushered to the place by Genevieve Cañete, communications executive. We learned that Shangri-La Mactan has major events for the first half of 2020: Sinulog, Chinese New Year (Jan. 25), Valentine’s Day, Holy Week and Summer. The culinary delights will merge present and new menus, served buffet or a la carte. The Chinese cuisine at the Tea of Spring will more varied.

The ambiance of Cove was enough to make us enjoy our tete-a-tete reminiscent of past events and GMs. Melissa, who worked in Boracay, said that Shangri-La Mactan will continue to attract tourists and visitors.