Garcia, Labella to dance together

THE Provincial Government and the Cebu City Government have shared many firsts following the election of their local chief executives in the May 2019 polls.

On May 25, 2019, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Mayor Edgardo Labella, then incoming local chief executives, met for a unity and solidarity meeting to “make life better” for Cebuanos.

When Garcia’s flagship program, the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo, made a comeback after a six-year hiatus on Aug. 25, 2019, Labella offered to let the Provincial Government hold the “festival of festivals” at the Cebu City Sports Center.

For the celebration of the feast of Señor Sto. Niño, the top officials of the Province and Cebu City are set to make another historic “first.”

Although Cebu City is an independent, highly urbanized city, its mayor will join the Provincial Government as a guest performer at the Sinulog Grand Parade on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020.

The development was confirmed by Provincial Tourism Office officer-in-charge Maria Lester Ybañez on Monday, Jan. 13.

“Mayor Labella will be dancing with the Province. It’s very symbolic as it shows that there is unity. First time for a mayor to dance, and then the mayor is joining the Province,” she said.

“Backstory, I think they had a meeting without the governor... It was kind of mentioned in passing, ‘What about you, Mayor? Aren’t you performing in the Sinulog?’ The mayor had initially said he didn’t know how to dance, but later on thought about it and how it would feel to participate in the Sinulog,” Ybañez said.

The guest contingent led by the governor will perform with some Provincial Board members, Capitol department heads and dancers from Alcoy town’s Siloy Festival.

Earlier, Garcia said she chose to perform with Alcoy after being impressed by their world-class performance despite working on a meager budget during the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo.

The contingent from the small town in the south left a lasting impression on the audience and judges with its Siloy Festival performance, finishing fourth out of 44 participating local government units.

The Province will begin rehearsals on Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 14.

Award-winning stage director Victor Hao Cuenco will serve as artistic director with Marjun Salve as choreographer.

The governor’s costume will be designed by fashion designer Philipp Tampus.

Ybañez said it is inspired by the costume of the first Pasigarbo sa Sugbo festival queen, Chelo Mae Timtim of Alcoy. (RTF)