Bigger Sinulog events planned at Mactan Airport
The Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) has lined up more activities for the coming Sinulog.
Avigael Maningo of the Corporate Affairs Office of the GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), said several projects and activities have been slated for this month, particularly on the days leading to Sinulog on January 21.
“The management wants that by the time passengers set their foot at the airport, they can already feel the Sinulog revelry,” Maningo said in a press conference yesterday.
She said they used to pick from their own personnel to participate in the activities but are now involving communities near the airport to join in its Sinulog traditional dance competition set for January 18.
At least 10 barangays were invited to participate and may get the chance to showcase the distinct product of the village in their dances.
Moreover, Maningo said several Santo Niño images are also placed inside the airport.
"We have to remember that the heart of the celebration is the Santo Niño," she said.
GMCAC is a private consortium led by Filipino businessmen that has managed terminal operations of the MCIA since November 2014.
By that time, Maningo said, Sinulog-related activities were introduced as entertainment for arriving passengers and had continued to evolve.
In addition, various programs and booths are set up at the airport, especially on Monday, January 15, with the expected influx of inbound and outbound passengers.
Typically, the month of January ushers the peak travel season in Cebu until the dry season or “summer” in May, said Maningo.
Based from the January 2017 data, the inbound and outbound passengers reached 400,000, she said, with an average of 13,000 passengers a day.
For “balikbayans” or overseas Filipinos, she said around 500 to 800 of them are expected to arrive here next week to join the revelry.
She added that the management also supports the promotion of "faith tourism" which is the new focus of the Department of Tourism in Central Visayas (DOT-7) for Cebu.
DOT-7 Director Shalimar Hofer Tamano said Cebu's tourism industry is also geared towards restoring the value of "faith and pilgrimage" of the people, other than its culture and traditions.
He said that the Tourism secretary is also very supportive of the Sinulog Festival.
In fact, she said, DOT-7 recently proposed to increase the financial support it gives to the Sinulog Foundation, Inc.
Last year, the DOT-7 gave financial support of P100,000 to the foundation running the festival.
The management of Mactan-Cebu airport is preparing events to welcome passengers arriving in Cebu for the Sinulog Festival.