Finally, Sinulog parties to move to SRP
It is good that Mayor Tomas Osmeña plans to set new rules for the Sinulog this coming January, especially for those who love to party during the festival and those who sustain this desire by providing them with the alcohol. According to Osmeña, Cebu shall have seen the last of those rowdy, sometimes violent drunken street orgies because he will confine them to the vast expanse of the South Road Properties. The parade route will be for those who want to have clean, alcohol-free fun.
Reactions to the plan is certain to be mixed, of course. To be sure, those affected will raise a howl. They will come up with all sorts of objections, not the least of which is to question how the ban will affect those large Sinulog sponsors whose businesses happen to involve alcohol. But these sponsors will not be deprived of their business opportunities.
In fact, there will probably be even bigger opportunities at the SRP because, with virtually unlimited space, big-turnout activities such as open air concerts that otherwise could not be held in the city proper can now be held there. And if the festive air is missed, everything can still be replicated at the SRP minus the need to step on the toes of those who want their celebration more orderly and subdued.
Having the rowdiness relegated somewhere else, the movement of those who need to go to work or otherwise do something other than take part in the festival will become less restricted, less tiresome, less threatening. Removing the street parties elsewhere frees up so much space for the use of those need to fulfill some other commitments.
There is also a very big advantage in having the alcohol-laced activities confined at the SRP. Police and other Security forces can be better positioned to ensure safety because the parties will be at very specific and precise places. There will be none of the hassles that responding security forces often encounter in an urban setting rendered maze-like by development.
And it is good that the mayor is thinking of these changes quite early. People still remember how nearly futile it was for the authorities responding to last January's drunken troubles to effect arrests and closures. And that is because the responses came after the fact. This time it is pro-active. Problems are already being anticipated, hence the relocation of potential problems where they can cause little or no dire consequences.