Seares: Mayor Mike Rama didn't blink in dispute with Guv Gwen over choice of Sinulog parade site? That may lend more weight to the blame or praise he'll get, depending on how Sunday's festival at SRP Grounds will turn out.

SRP, NOT CCSC. Sinulog Foundation's Facebook page came out Friday (January 13, 2023), some minutes past 10 a.m., with an announcement that "final venue" of the Sinulog 2023 "Grand Parade" will be "City Di Mare, SRP Grounds."

Assuming that (a) the post is official and authorized or ordered by Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama and (b) the page has not been hacked, it means he has decided not to budge from his position regarding the site.

So at the SRP Grounds, the Sinulog shall be. Not at the Cebu City Sports Center, Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia's site of choice.

It's the decision from Sinulog organizers that many people had waited for. They'd want to know if Mayor Mike would yield to what Guv Gwen wanted. Interestingly, it must have excited the writer of Sinulog Foundation's post: An exclamation point appears each time in the three times "SRP Grounds" is mentioned.

DID ANYONE BLINK? Mayor Mike and Guv Gwen have not been locked eyeball to eyeball, not even figuratively in its strict sense. Scene watchers -- like Cebu-based journalist Antonio Antogop Jr., who publicly wondered who'd blink -- were referring to the local officials' clashing choices, with no direct confrontation or exchange.

Governor Garcia made at least three statements to the press, which tells how her position evolved:

[1] First, at a press-con Monday, January 9, she expressed her "concerns" about the choice of SRP, citing the "impact" on her constituents from the towns and the safety of important guests.

[2] Then, on Thursday, January 12, when asked at a press-con on another issue, she said she'd continue her annual "devotion" of dancing at the Sinulog even if her worries wouldn't be "adequately addressed." She had said her piece, she said, and wouldn't add anything else.

[3] The same day, Thursday night, the governor fired the "Not-SRP-or-else" blast, saying the SRP site is "no longer an option" and warning that the province's eight contingents and a ninth guest contingent would pull out from the event. The reason: "risk and safety of our children."

CAPITOL GUN BLAZED in a matter of hours. Guv Gwen's stance shifted from the conciliatory "enough-said-and-guv-will-dance" to the ultimatum-sounding "hold-it-at-sports-center-or-we-pull-out."

And the following day, Mayor Mike responded. Through the Sinulog Foundation, he announced that the "final venue" is SRP. If one noticed, three separate exclamation points in the post highlighted excitement, with no trace of regret.

HOW THE EVENT TURNS OUT this Sunday, January 15, will determine whether the governor is right regarding her "concerns" about the SRP as Sinulog parade venue and the mayor is just being stubborn and imprudent. Or the mayor, while seemingly foolhardy all along, is vindicated by the final outcome. Who then, between Guv Gwen and Mayor Mike, could say, "I told you so"?

Still, there must be many Cebuanos and visitors who wish Cebu's local government leaders had talked about it face-to-face, in a setting and mood induced by the "One Cebu Island" festival theme. Perhaps then, no chief executive would need to blink, or it wouldn't matter if one did.