Gwen Garcia expected to dance at night

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Suspended Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY — Tens of thousands of revelers braved the heat of the sun to witness Cebu’s grandest and biggest celebration, the Sinulog Grand Parade, on Sunday

The police estimated the crowd in the city streets to reach 1.2 million, many of whom used umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun.

A total of 142 contingents, from dancers, puppeteers, to floats and higantes (giant figures), paraded around the major city streets in a six-kilometer carousel route that started and ended at the Cebu City Sports Center.

Unlike 2012, the province did not send any contingent, apparently due to the suspension of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia who had been the contingent’s main star in the past years.

Garcia has been holed up at her office at the capitol since Dec. 19 when she decided to defy the six-month preventive suspension issued against her by Malacañang for grave abuse of authority.

But there were talks on Sunday morning that Garcia would leave her office and dance with the Rosquillos Festival of Liloan town, whose mayor, Duke Frasco, is husband of Garcia’s daughter, Cristina.

Liloan was scheduled to perform after Tribu Sinanduloy of Tangub City, Misamis Occidental, one of the last performers in the 10-hour presentation, according to sector assignments released by the Sinulog Foundation.

This meant Liloan would likely present between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

But many of the 12,000 people inside the Cebu City Sports Center, the final judging area of the performers, were waiting if Garcia would indeed dance.

“We are waiting for Liloan to come out to see how Gwen look like and how people will react,” said Gregoria Pamintuan, 44, of Barangay Mabolo.

Pamintuan and family had been watching the Grand Parade every year since 2007 and said that Garcia and the contingent from the provincial government would likely perform after the group representing Cebu City.

But Garcia, clad in black Sinulog shirt and jeans, danced the Sinulog, holding the Sto. Niño inside her office about 10 a.m. Sunday.

Her dance was not accompanied by drums but by the clapping of her friend,  Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung and two female companions to the beat of the Sinulog.

“As far as I’m concerned, this will be a day to prove once again my devotion and commitment to the Sto. Niño. The risks would always be there. What is important is to fulfill a promise,” she told reporters.

Sunday’s 33rd Sinulog Grand Parade started with an 8 a.m. Mass held at the grandstand, which was officiated by Bishop Emilio Bataclan.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama declared this year’s Sinulog festival open at 9:16 a.m. on Sunday, which signaled the start of the parade.  Forty dancing contingents (18 Sinulog-based and 22 free-interpretation), 46 floats, 28 higantes and 28 puppeteers took part in the parade.

Unlike in the previous years where the city government contingent would open the Grand Parade, Val Sandiego and his wife Ophelia, dressed as San Jose and the Our Lady of Guadalupe opened this year’s Sinulog with their dance interpretation of the song “Balaang Sto. Niño.”

Their dance troupe, San Diego Dance Company, then performed the opening Sinulog dance on behalf of the city government. Their dance depicted the first baptism and the introduction of Christianity to Cebuano natives.

The opening dance also showed why and how the first Cebuano saint, San Pedro Calungsod, lived to preach religion and was killed.

Puppets in the image of pop culture figures such as Elvis Presley, Tinker Bell, Clown, Cookie Monster, NBA superstar Lebron James followed San Diego in lieu of the Cebu provincial government contingent before the dance competition started at 10 a.m.

San Diego dancers were expected to return to the Sinulog stage at 7 p.m. to close this year’s competition and introduce the grand finale, which would feature 2012 Ms. Tourism international Rizzini Alexis Gomez.

Many of the performers also included San Pedro Calungsod in their themes of their dances.

One of them was from Gregoria Milan Elementary School of Balamban town, Cebu, which started their dance by showing how a teenage boy like Calungsod suffered and died because of his faith.

Balamban dancers also used as backdrop two huge tarpaulins: one featured Calungsod, the other was Sto. Nino.

Ricky Ballesteros, Sinulog executive director, said they encouraged choreographers during their briefings to try to incorporate Calungsod’s canonization into their dances in order to coincide with the city’s celebration of its 75th Charter Day on Feb. 24.

“The Calungsod canonization is the most significant event in the modern era,” he said. With Ador Mayol and Charisse Ursal, Inquirer Visayas

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  • ztefertilizerscam10

    BOTOX GOVERNOR JUST KILL YOURSELF!!!

  • virgoyap

    Gwen Garcia the problematic and disobedient daughter of Cebu will dance in the Sinulog Festival. Let’s see how will the people react about this. She will dance in honor of the Child Jesus whose obedience to His Father is unparalleled.

  • Enero Lamo

    she should go home to her house after she danced the sinulog…baka yong gown ay charged din yon sa taxpayers money…libre na siya sa capitol office stay which a public property …suspended na siya..wala na siyang karapatang gumastos sa pera ng mamamayan..

  • gwenbalili

    imagine after pocketing P2B of cebu province money, may mukha pang mag sayaw… ibang level ang pagka kapalmuks nito

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7DGUJWJLQFTJJVJ7N5MY6NVAUQ peter andrew

    CEBU loves GWEN GARCIA. DIRTY POLITICIANS from MANILA, LEAVE US ALONE! Ayusin nyo nga muna ang napakaruming lugar nyo at huwag nyo kaming guluhin dito sa Cebu! 

    • KenKhoy

      is that so?

    • calipso_2100

      Kinsay ingon? Ikaw ra tingali die hard ni gwen.

    • barbara sanchez

      AGREE! I saw her performed just minutes ago and she got a very very loud applause from the Cebuanos! She was introuduced as the only Cebu Governor. She was touched by the gestures and she shed tears at the backstage.

    • TreadLikely

       Speak for yourself, Peter Andrew.

      Nobody likes the attention-whore Gwen

  • akoombulator

    tsk tsk tsk winter naka payong mga tao? saan ba to?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5WCYNZTFJDPZBSL7KWHQCOVCSU macau connection

    HAHAHAHA!!! WALA JUD MAMAKPAK ANG MGA CEBUANO PAG SAYAW NI GWENDOLING TULILING!!!! NAA PAY MAYOR UG ANAK NGA MURAG MGA TOYTOY NI APIL UG SAYAW…………

  • aldhins

    Gov. Garcia  pag iniwan mo sandali chair mo baka  wala ka ng babalikan pang upuan :)  kaya isip isip buti pa nga mabait syo  ang govt. kung kay  GMA yan noon wala kana sa upuan mo.

  • Labandera1

    Tingnan ninyong mabuti baka kalahating katawan lang ni tikbalang Gwen ang sumasayaw baka ang kalahating katawan niya naiwan sa capitolyo….

  • Sugbuanon86

    In Your Face, PNOY!

    Huwag ka nang bumalik dito sa Cebu, mongoloid ka!

    Pati mga ugok na kandidato mo sa Liberal, huwag na kayong magpakita dito!

    Mga Cebuano hindi uto-uto, at hindi naniniwala sa Daang Matuwid (kuno) mo!

    Doon mo yan ibenta sa Manila.

    Mga sira ulo naman sila gaya mo, at daling ma uto.

  • Sugbuanon86

    Gov. Gwen Garcia just got a very big applause from the Cebuanos after her dance!

    Yan ba ang governor na isinusuka ng Cebu?

    At nasaan ang tunay (kuno) na governor na si Magpale na kapatid ng bestfriend ni PNOY at KKK crony na si Almendras?

    Bakit hindi siya nagpapakita?

    Nahihiya ba ang ambisyosa?

    HUWAG KA NANG BUMALIK DITO SA CEBU, PNOY!

    MONGOLOID KA!

    AT KAYONG MGA LIBERAL CANDIDATES NA BIT-BIT NI PNOY!

    HUWAG NA KAYONG MAGPAPAKITA DITO, MGA UNGAS!

    • TreadLikely

      Implying the drama queen Gwen Garcia didn’t take a hakod crowd with her just like the protest on the capitol recently. B1tch needs to stop being self-entitled and trying to stir chaos on the city.  She’s no longer governor.

  • jinx

    Sa sobrang retoke ng mukha ni Gwen Garcia mukha na siyang character ng Avatar.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TJLBFK6Y4JTVHRRL3PAFMU4VPI Pola

    Mukha na syang lizard sa muffet show.

  • TreadLikely

    A good politician knows when to let go of power. Gwen Garcia is obviously not one.

  • TreadLikely

    Fact: A long time editor of Sun Star Cebu has been fired lately. Apparently he wrote articles that doesn’t suit Gwen. Guess what? Gwen’s relatives own Sun Star, so unethical.

    • William Dave

      wonder whose that? guess everyone who writes against them in their paper gets the boot. these pro-gwen here have all the Byron-ridden rage smell all over. wonder when will Winston Garcia starts chiming in. must be busy with his awesome painting collections, yeah?

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