Sinulog opens with parade, Mass
“Aside from being peaceful, let's keep the city clean” was the opening message of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña to hundreds of spectators during the Opening Salvo at the Cebu City Sports Center yesterday afternoon.
He urged the Cebuanos to cooperate with the city government in the implementation of new policies that is geared towards peace and order during the Sinulog celebration this year.
“So many people, so many sponsors, so many sacrifices, so many pilgrims are coming here and I am the most nervous person in Cebu City because if anything happens, I will accept the responsibility,” he said.
Osmeña also thanked all volunteers and sponsors for making the launching successful and peaceful.
The mayor said he is hoping that all activities of the Sinulog will be successful and peaceful as planned.
“On behalf of the Sinulog Foundation of which I'm the chairman, and of course as your mayor of Cebu City, we have officially announced the opening so please cooperate and tell your friends let's keep the city clean. Aside from being peaceful, let's keep the city clean,” he added.
Authorities pegged the crowd who witnessed the launching parade at 20,000.
Osmeña vowed that the city and SFI will continue making improvements every year to make Sinulog grander, more peaceful and orderly.
Thousands of spectators went out of the streets to witness the launching parade yesterday afternoon from Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño to the Cebu City Sports Center.
The 13 candidates of this year's Sinulog Festival Queen were on board the Cebu City's Call Center Program float.
At least 13 dance troupes of various schools and universities in Cebu also participated with their drum and bugle corps.
The participating schools include the University of San Jose-Recoletos, University of Southern Philippines Foundation, Cebu Technological University, University of San Carlos, Salazar Colleges of Science and Institute of Technology, Abellana National School, University of the Visayas, University of Cebu, Cebu Doctors' University, Cebu Institute of Technology – University, Indiana Aerospace University, Mandaue City School for the Arts, and Mandaue Science High School.
During the 2:30 p.m. opening salvo Mass yesterday, Monsignor Roberto Alesna challenged the devotees of the Holy Child to put their devotion to action.
Alesna said he has been reading reports that millions of people have joined the procession of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo and he is expecting that millions of people will also join the procession of the Holy Child next week.
“Our devotion without mission is empty,” he said.
Several officials led the launching parade such as Osmeña and his wife, Councilor Margarita Osmeña, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, and City Councilors Raymond Alvin Garcia, Jocelyn Pesquera, Renato Osmeña, Jr., Pastor Alcover, Eugenio Gabuya, Mary Ann de los Santos, Sisinio Andales, and David Tumulak. —