44 dance troupes compete at Sinulog Grand Parade in Cebu City
CEBU CITY, Philippines – A total of 44 dance contingents are competing Sunday in the Sinulog Grand Parade, the highlight of week-long festivities celebrating the feast of the Holy Child Jesus.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama opened this year’s grand parade at 9:15 a.m. after the 8 a.m. Eucharistic celebration officiated by Msgr. Roberto “Boy” Alesna held at the grandstand stage of the Cebu City Sports Center.
Alesna asked the faithful in his Homily to have a heart like that of a child.
“The faith of a child teaches us the kind of faith that God is expecting of us,” he said.
“Jesus is inviting us to have the humility and trusting love of a child,” he added.
Mayor Rama, who was joined on stage by Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale and Vice Mayor Edgar Labella took the center stage after the Mass to declare the opening of the Sinulog Grand Parade.
“Sinulog is not just the city government but the cooperation, collaboration of many and that includes the province (of Cebu) and all the component cities and out-of-town contingents,” he said in his message.
Cebu City department heads wearing yellow polo shirts and black pants were the first to climb the grandstand stage to officially start the dancing competition.
They were later followed by city hall employees dressed in Maria Clara costume.
The provincial government contingent followed.
Another guest contingent, the San Diego Dance Company also did their thanksgiving dance with former Cebu governor and now 3rd district Rep. Gwen Garcia as lead dancer.
San Diego choreographer Val San Diego is in Manila with some of their dancers to dance the Sinulog for Pope Francis in Luneta.
Garcia was wearing a white Maria Clara inspired gown.
Cebuano designer Philip Rodriguez said it was the same gown in 2006 when she was the lead dancer for Cebu Provincial government contingent.
Rodriguez said he had to restyle the white fully beaded top and silk organdy skirt to give it a fresh look.
Hundreds of people who crowded the sports center bleachers applauded as Garcia and San Diego dancers disembarked from the stage.
Sinulog dancing will continue until 7 pm.
Participants are to go around the 6-kilometer Sinulog route.
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