Out-of-town contingents help make Cebu look better: Tomas

CEBU City Mayor To-mas Osmeña yesterday reminded organizers that they must help promote participating local government units (LGUs) through the celebration.

“If we don’t do something about it, we’re going to lose,” he said.

He said the other day that the out-of-town contingents’ participation in the Sinulog has helped Cebu market itself.

“Their commitment to be here is making us look better and better,” the mayor said.


That is why he reminded the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) of his suggestion to make the grand parade a “made-for-TV” event.

As early as after the 2007 Sinulog, the mayor said he wanted it repackaged so that it would be attractive to out-of-tow-ners, who spend much to compete.

The mayor also wanted the Sinulog to be a major production made for TV, complete with state-of-the-art cameras and lights so it could attract a global audience.

He had wanted TV coverage improved to give contingents, especially those from other provinces, more and better exposure, “as if we’re making a movie.”

“I have always said before that the Sinulog should be more for the television audience,” he said, after being told that 42.6 million from around the world viewed the Sinulog 2010 in the Internet through live streaming.

He said his suggestions in the past have helped improve the Sinulog, particularly its deviation from a religious event into being more of a fiesta celebration.

“To appreciate it, you don’t have to be a Christian,” he said, adding that even international photographers flock to Cebu for the event.

He also wanted the search for the Sinulog festival queen to be transformed into a beauty contest, with “full-blown” production.

“People want to see something exotic, something very nice. That’s what I see in the festival queen,” he said.

As to the Miss Cebu annual competition, the ma-yor said he wanted it held in February, during the Charter Day celebration.

Worth considering

He also planned a special event for the participating LGUs, where a video presentation, which the SFI created by visiting each of the towns and cities, would be shown, followed by a “major concert.”

In a separate interview, Dolly Suzara, SFI project director, said that transforming the Sinulog into a made-for-TV product is difficult.

“Lisud-lisod na. It loses the spontaneity (of the Sinulog),” she said.

“Nindot nga (It’s a very good) idea, something worth considering, but it would take time,” she added.

On the need to acknowledge out-of-town contingents, Suzara said they encourage their participation by acceding to their invitations to serve as judges in their respective festivals. (RHM)

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