Panglao, Ormoc to send groups as thanksgiving
A GRATEFUL Panglao town in Bohol and Ormoc city in Leyte are sending dance troupes to join the Sinulog parade in Cebu city next month.
What makes the Sinulog next year different is the story it will tell of faith, charity, hope and the bayanihan spirit which helped Visayans overcome the effects of the October 15 earthquake and Nov. 8 supertyphoon Yolanda, organizers of Cebu’s flagship event said.
According to Ricky Ballesteros, executive director of the Sinulog Foundation, officials of the municipality of Panglao in Bohol province said they would send a delegation to the Sinulog in thanksgiving as the town was spared from devastion of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
Ormoc City, which was damaged in the typhoon but was spared from tsunami-like waves of a storm surge that hit Tacloban City, said it would also send a delegation,said Ballesteros.
Registration of contest entries starts a week before the Jan. 19, 2014 grand parade.
“It’s going to be a fun and memorable Sinulog but minus the Leyte contingents,” said Ballesteros.
Four contingents from the typhoon affected localities in Leyte – the municipalities of Alang Alang, Abuyog, Dulag and Tanauan – have already begged off from joining the Sinulog parade to focus instead on recovery programs.
Leyte dance troupes often land in the top five spots in the annual Sinulog dance competition making them crowd drawers.
Alang-alang won the grand prize in the Free Interpretation (FI) category in 2012 while Abuyog’s bee-inspired dance won the title in 2009 .
“We received a call from Alang Alang two or three days after the typhoon telling us that they would not be joining the Sinulog. They already started to practice their routines and had a concept for their dance but they just could not make it. Their town was badly affected by the typhoon minus the storm surge which Tacloban had,” said Ballesteros.
“But we just have to move on and learn our lessons,” he added.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Sinulog overall chairman, said the annual grand parade inspired by devotion to the Senor Sto. Niño will go on despite the absence of some of its regular participants. “Ang mas dakung problema ug wala na tay Sinulog,” he said.
(It would be a bigger problem if no Sinulog is celebrated.)
Rama said Cebuanos should celebrate and give thanks to the Sto. Niño because the city and most of the province was spared from the widespread destruction caused by the earthquake and the typhoon.
“The Sinulog should perk up the people, bring light for all. This is a sign of hope for everyone,” he said.
Ballesteros said the opening parade on January 10 will have a display of color flowers with the theme “Faith Withstands All.”
He is looking forward to 35 to 40 dancing contingents joining the Sinulog grand parade on January 19, 2014.
New entries from Kidapawan City in Cotabato and Plaridel in Misamis Occidental have already signified their participation in the Sinulog.
Out of town contingents from Masbate, Sta. Catalina in Misamis Occidental, Tangub City and Lanao del Norte will again be seen in next year’s competition.
Tangub won the grand price in the 2013 Sinulog- based dance competition.
“We will not be asking them to use the earthquake and the typhoon as a theme in their dance. We want to leave their concept up to the imagination of their choreographers. The judges and the spectators are always looking for something new, said Ballesteros.
But Ballesteros said they will remember these tragedies in the finale of the January 19 grand parade which will feature the Basilical Minore del Sto. Niño and its belfry which was damaged during the October 15 earthquake.
The finale will feature the calamity and how Cebuanos managed to overcame these, he added.
TICKET PRICE INCREASE
Tickets to the 15,000-seat Cebu city sports center to watch 2014 Sinulog performances from the grandstand will cost P200 more.
A new format will use computer-generated tickets with embedded codes for scanning with the use of laser scanners, said Ricky Ballesteros, executive director of the Sinulog Foundation.
This change addreses the perennial problem of counterfeit tickets circulating outside the gate.
Pink and green section tickets which used to be priced at P600 will be sold at P800 while the yellow section tickets will be sold at P1,000.
VIP grandstand tickets will be priced at P1,200 while balikbayan section tickets will be sold at P2,500 each. Part of the ticket proceeds will be shared with their chosen typhoon affected localities.
Sinulog tickets may be purchased starting next week at the Sinulog Foundation office at the sports center. / Chief of Reporters Doris Bongcac and Correspondent Edison delos Angeles
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