SINULOG Festival 2018 officially started on Friday, January 12, with an opening salvo and launching parade participated by various schools and firms in Metro Cebu.
Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña officially opened the festival, an annual celebration in honor of Sto. Niño, or the child Jesus.
The launching parade started at 4 p.m. at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu, passed through Colon Street and Osmeña Boulevard, and ended at the Cebu City Sports Center.
Wearing colorful and elaborate costumes, dance troupe members from 13 different schools performed street dances as they head to the sports complex, where they capped the activity with a unity dance.
The 13 schools that participated in the activity were the University of San Carlos, Salazar Colleges of Science and Institute of Technology, Cebu Doctor’s University, Indiana Aerospace University, Mandaue School for Arts, Mandaue City Science High School, University of San Jose Recoletos, Abellana National High School, Cebu Institute of Technology-University, University of the Visayas, Cebu Technological University, University of Southern Philippines Foundation, and University of Cebu.
Some 13 candidates of the Sinulog Festival Queen and 12 sponsor BPO companies also joined the parade.
In his speech after the parade, Osmeña reminded the public to keep the city clean during the whole celebration.
“As mayor of Cebu City, I have officially announced the opening, so please cooperate. Tell your friends let’s keep the city clean aside from being peaceful,” Osmeña said.
“So many people, so many sponsors, so many sacrifices, so many pilgrims are coming here. You cannot imagine the sacrifices they make. I’m the most nervous person in Cebu City, because if anything happens, I will accept the responsibility,” the mayor added.
The launching parade, meanwhile, caused heavy traffic Friday afternoon, especially in the downtown area, as the City Transportation Office implemented a stop-and-go traffic scheme in major intersections of Osmeña Blvd.
These intersections were closed when parade participants were about to pass a certain portion of Osmeña Blvd. (Precious Grace Gandia and Erica Jill Dancel, AB Communications Interns/SunStar Philippines)