‘Best Pasigarbo sa Sugbo so far’
CEBU, Philippines — No hitches. Just pure festivity.
Different colors abound and festival theme songs reverberated through the streets of Cebu City yesterday after the successful revival of Pasigarbo sa Sugbo.
The event, dubbed as “Festival of Festivals,” became a major highlight of the province’s 450th founding anniversary this month and was participated in by 44 towns and cities.
A brainchild of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, the Pasigarbo had been cancelled under the two terms of former governor now Vice Gov. Hilario Davide III.
While it took a six-year hiatus, Garcia has branded Pasigarbo’s relaunch as the “grandest installation” so far in terms of production and the number of participating municipalities and cities.
“Out of six years of absence and in celebration of our Province’s 450th anniversay… Pasigarbo sa Sugbo Festival of Festivals is back,” Garcia beamed as she formally opened the ritual showdown at the Cebu City Sports Center.
Yesterday’s event was comprised of the street dancing and ritual showdown competitions.
The event kicked off with the street dancing competition where contigents performed along a two-kilometer route from the Cebu Provincial Capitol to the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) starting at around 2 p.m. yesterday.
This segment ran for approximately three hours.
By that time, the CCSC was already jam-packed with spectators. As of 6 p.m. last night, the line continued to stretch for those who failed to obtain tickets for Pasigarbo but wished to get a slot inside CSCC.
Also present yesterday were Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino, Garcia’s brother Pablo John Garcia with his wife Karen, Garcia’s daughter Liloan Mayor Christina Frasco, Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama, and City of Naga Mayor Valdemar Chiong.
To note, the provincial government had extended P500,000 in subsidy to contigents from the mainland while P700,000 was given to those from the islands of Bantayan and Camotes.
Even with the subsidy, some municipalities like Consolacion and Dumajug still had to augment their contigents’ funds through local supplemental budget.
As for the overall cost of the event, the Capitol has yet to provide actual figures.
Garcia assured, though, that a significant amount of public fund has been saved from the decision to terminate 2,000 workers from the previous admin.
The awarding of winners will take place at the CCSC 1 p.m. tomorrow but the governor has yet to reveal the grand prize.
Meanwhike, no crime or any security issue was recorded throughout the conduct of Pasigarbo, at least as of 5 p.m. yesterday, according to the assessment of Cebu Provincial Police Office Director Colonel Roderick Mariano.
“So far, normal situation. Aalis na ang unang sector. Pang 42 na ang paalis from Capitol. Siguro estimated ko mga 6 p.m. tapos na ang 44 contingents,” he told The FREEMAN by phone yesterday.
Mariano said among the challenges was securing the unexpected number of participants in each contingent, which went way beyond what was on record.
Also, the police faced a challenge in maintaining peace and order in the midst of the throng of spectators on the streets and at the CCSC.
Mariano said the crowd peaked at 18,000.
He said he was hapoy nonetheless that all security measures paid off with no untoward incident recorded.
Mariano said they were able to resolve the issues by proper dissemination and communication of the information.
“Kailangan natin ayusin yung dissemination natin. Medyo nabigla ang mga tao. Dito kasi sa actual, dili nila controlled yung mga tao,” Mariano said.
To ensure peace and order, police also implemented a liquor ban yesterday in areas where the parade passed by.
Police Major Clark Arriola of CCPO, however, said no violators had been apprehended. (FREEMAN)