SRP ‘will be ready’ for Sinulog

AS THE Cebu City Government and the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) try to beat the deadline to finish the Sinulog Grand Parade and Ritual Showdown venues at the South Road Properties (SRP), help from private firms continued to pour in on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023.

With this, Cebu City Councilor Jerry Guardo, committee on infrastructure chairperson is confident that all preparations will be completed before the grand parade on Sunday, Jan. 15.

Dakay Construction and Development Corp. is building the stage and amphitheater-type grandstand for free, Guardo said, while various construction companies have also offered to help by providing an “unlimited” supply of asphalt and filling materials.

He said two construction companies that wish to remain anonymous have pledged to provide the City with all the asphalt needed to cover muddy areas along the route.

“No mud”

Guardo assured spectators and the Sinulog contingents that there will be no muddy area along the parade route.

The carousel-type parade route has a total distance of four kilometers; but the road pavement that requires asphalting covers only 10 percent of the parade route since the SRP road is already concrete, he said.

As of Saturday, the overlaying of asphalt and the construction of the grandstand were still ongoing.

He said the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway Corp. has also provided filling materials.

With the vastness of the venue, Guardo admitted that there will still be mud in areas that are not part of the route and in access ways that spectators will use to reach the grandstand.

In a separate interview, Councilor Phillip Zafra, chairman of the Sinulog executive committee, said preparations are non-stop.

He said the SRP is the best place to hold the festivities due to the broadness of its roads where the street dancing will be performed and the huge area where the stage and spectator area are located.

Zafra said during the Sinulog sa Kabataan at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) last Jan. 8, the crowd was small compared to the expected number of spectators during the grand parade; but the CCSC already appeared to be overcrowded.

With Sinulog being held at the SRP, this will allow revelers to enjoy more the performances of the contingents.

“Mao na akong panawagan sa katawhan nga atoang suwayan (That’s why I urge the public to give it a try). Let us embrace the change. Let us celebrate together kay kapistahan kini ni (because it’s the feast of the) Sto. Nino,” said Zafra.

Seating capacity

The ritual showdown venue at the SRP will have a seating capacity of around 9,000.

SFI executive director Elmer “Jojo” Labella said they initially planned for the venue to accommodate only 6,000 people. However, due to the possibility of fair weather for the event on Sunday, Labella said work is ongoing to increase the capacity of the bleachers to 9,000 to accommodate both holders of general admission tickets and VIP tickets or guests of the City Government and Mayor Michael Rama.

Labella said the public can still buy tickets on Sunday outside the premises.

The tickets, which can be bought at P500 each, are also available at the SFI office at the Cebu City Sports Center. Organizers earlier said tickets were not available online.

“Tickets will be available at the gates. We don’t want to have an ‘overcapacity.’ Also, it’s first come, first served,” Labella said in Cebuano.

2 million

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) expects an estimated two million people to witness the Sinulog Grand Parade, including local and foreign tourists.

Mambaling Police Station Chief Major Jonathan Beethoven Taneo expects crowds to swell as the situation has slowly gone back to normal after the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the police are ready to provide security for the parade.

Taneo advised those who want to watch the Sinulog not to bring large amounts of money and to avoid wearing expensive jewelry so as not to be victimized by criminal elements.

Parents are also discouraged from bringing their children to prevent them from getting hurt in case of a stampede, said Taneo. (EHP, BBT/ TPT)