Cebu ready for Sto. Niño, SinulogBy Carinne Asutilla, Jhunnex Napallacan
CEBU CITY—Preparations for Cebu’s two biggest feasts—the Sto. Niño and Sinulog Festivals—are in full gear.
A procession started the Sto. Niño feast yesterday, snaking through Fuente Osmeña to the Basilica del Sto. Niño for Mass and the start of a nine-day novena.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Fr. Jonas Mejares said the theme of this year’s Sto. Niño feast is “Journeying Together in Faith with Santo Niño.”
To accommodate the thousands of devotees expected to take part in the feast, Mejares, rector of the Basilica del Santo Niño, said the basilica would be open 24 hours from Jan. 17-20.
Supt. Arnel Banzon, Cebu City police deputy director for administration, said security measures are in place both for the Sto. Niño and Sinulog feasts.
At least 366 policemen were deployed to the 5.7-kilometer route that the Sto. Niño procession would take, said Banzon.
The Sinulog, meantime, will be officially launched today with a 3 p.m. parade from the basilica to the Cebu City Sports Center.
Ricky Ballesteros, an official of the Sinulog Foundation, said at least 40 contingents are expected to take part in the street parade and grand showdown on Jan. 20.
Hotels in the city are fully booked, according to the Cebu City Tourism Council.
Room rates have increased by at least 30 percent but this did not dampen demand, officials said.
Hembler Mendoza, Lapu-Lapu City tourism officer, said there’s still room in hotels and resorts in his city for Sinulog visitors.