Venerate Sto. Niño, dancers told

TWO days before the dancers go out to the streets, Sinulog organizers reminded them that Sinulog is a prayer in dance, and that they should respect the image of the Sto. Niño when they perform, and not treat it as mere props.

The Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) gave their final briefing to the contingents yesterday, as out-of-town and local groups promised to put up a spectacular show tomorrow.

Acting Mayor Michael Rama also gave final instructions to city councilors who will oversee the crowd control in the parade route, which he said will be their toughest concern during the day.

Thousands of revelers are expected to watch 17 contingents compete in the Sinulog-based category, and 27 other contingents in the free interpretation category. Thirty floats, 27 higantes and 10 puppeteers also registered to compete.

Lumad Basakanon of Barangay Basak-San Nicolas, Cebu City, a two-time Aliwan Festival champion, said they will surprise the crowd with new costumes and dance movements.

San Nicolas Barangay Captain George Rama said they will do away with their trademark fast-paced movements and music after seeing that a lot of contingents have copied their dance.

“Our concept is still thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest but we have created new dance steps. The movements and the music will be a lot faster than what we used to do. We want to give the audience something new,” Rama told Sun.Star Cebu.

Whatever the contingents’ concept is, Sinulog project director Dolores Suzara said each of them should venerate and respect the image of the Holy Child while dancing, and not to use it simply as part of their props.

“Revere the Sto. Niño and remember that the Sinulog is prayer in dance. When dancing with the image of the Niño, raise it with respect, reverence and care, dili kay iwara-wara ra ug ibundak. Usahay matagak pa,” she said.

The organizers also allowed the Alpha Kappa Rho (Akrho) fraternity to join the grand parade after seeing their performance and costumes.

SFI Executive Director Ricky Ballesteros said that the fraternity’s dancers will have to improve their dance and costumes, but they already found the group’s performance to be acceptable.

Organizers have requested the crowd control committee and the police to provide maximum security for the Akrho contingent to avoid any untoward incident. (LCR)

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