Pandemic reshaping Cebu’s Sinulog celebration
CEBU CITY—The Central Visayas office of the Department of Health (DOH) has recommended the cancellation of one of the country’s biggest tourism draws, Sinulog Grand Parade, in January 2021 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, regional DOH spokesperson, said it was but proper to cancel events that will draw large crowds.
“We have not given a go-signal on the Sinulog. There should be no large gatherings and no big crowds allowed,” she said at an online press conference on Monday (Nov. 9).
The city government has yet to announce a decision on activities related to the Sinulog Festival but officials were leaning toward allowing onsite dance presentations but barring spectators and showing these online instead.
The Augustinian priests of the Basilica del Sto. Niño, who play a key role in the festivities, had decided to forgo of many events related to Sinulog to avoid mass gatherings.
Among activities canceled by the Church were:
- Penitential Walk with Jesus
- Penitential Walk with Mary
- Traslacion or the transfer of the images of the Sto. Niño and Our Lady of Guadalupe to the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu
- Fluvial procession
- Reenactment of the arrival of the image of the Holy Child
- Solemn foot procession.
Fr. Pacifico “Jun” Nohara, rector of the centuries-old basilica, said next year’s activities will focus on Eucharistic celebrations at the church’s outdoor pilgrim center.
The basilica can accommodate 1,000 people at a time to maintain physical distancing and in accordance with other health protocols.
Even if Cebu had already flattened the coronavirus curve, Loreche said people should not let their guard down.
“It should not lull us into complacency,” she said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.