WITH the champions in the elementary and high school categories not around to defend their crowns, 18 contingents will vie today for the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan top honors.
Four groups that took spots in the 2008 winnersâ€™ circle are out to improve on their performances last year.
The competition is for participants from the different schools of Cebu Province.
Pajo Elementary School, which took fifth place last year, will be back. It has been among the top five winners in its category since 2004. Its best performance was in 2006 and 2007, when it won second place.
Tugbongan Elementary School of Consolacion, Cebu, now named Pundok Tugbonganon from last yearâ€™s Pundok Sarokan, will also be around to try to improve on its second-place finish last year.
In the high school category, Silaw Culture and Arts of Carcar Central National High School will try to bounce back from its fourth-place finish in 2008.
Mantawi Integrated Dance Company of Mandaue City, on the other hand, will try to inherit the crown of Carmen National High School, after settling for second place last year.
Mantawi took a break from the Sinulog sa Kabataan in 2007 after taking third-place honors in 2006.
In an interview, choreographer Victor Cuenco said Alcoy Elementary School could not defend its crown because the townâ€™s contingent for the 2009 Sinulog is a mixed bunch of elementary and high school students.
â€œSayang lagi. But we have to follow the rules. Maybe next time we can try asking for changes in the guidelines,â€ he told Sun.Star Cebu in last nightâ€™s Sinulog launching.
City Councilor Richard OsmeÃ±a, meanwhile, said the City Governmentâ€™s anti-graffiti campaign will be implemented starting next Friday, two days before the Sinulog grand parade.
Meant to rid the streets of graffiti, which are eyesores, the campaign will be participated in by around 120 volunteers from the Sangguniang Kabataan and the different fraternities, the councilor said.
He also announced the creation of an anti-graffiti task force since the campaign â€œwill not only be for the Sinulog but all throughout (the year).â€ RHM