STO. Niño devotees can expect a different Sinulog celebration in 2021.
Officials of the Cebu City Government and the Basilica del Sto. Niño announced that they’ve laid out initial plans for the annual event.
However, these are subject to the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said City Councilor Phillip Zafra, committee on public order chairman.
Instead of a traditional procession on the third Saturday of January, a motorcade will be held, he said. The route will be the same as last year, which was 6.5 kilometers long, he said.
There will also be no seaborne procession.
Zafra said their main concern is mass gathering, which violates health guidelines the government implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019.
At the start of the Misa de Gallo on Dec. 16, there will be no parking within the 100-meter radius from the Pilgrim Center.
“Our target is to start implementation early on so the public will get used to it in time for the Sinulog festivities,” Zafra said in Cebuano.
He said there will only be one entrance to the basilica and one exit during novena masses.
Zafra said the basilica will coordinate with churches all over Cebu for the livestreaming of masses in their respective churches.
They are discouraging devotees from outside Cebu City to come to the city for the Sinulog.
Meanwhile, former mayor Tomas Osmeña, who is a board member of the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI), will not attend the meeting to discuss Sinulog preparations called for by Vice Mayor Michael Rama on Tuesday, Oct. 6.
Osmeña said the vice mayor “no longer has the authority to call the officers and members of SFI to a meeting” since he resigned irrevocably last October, or two months after Mayor Edgardo Labella created the Sinulog Governing Board.
Two months ago, Labella announced that Rama would take charge of Sinulog preparations. (JJL)