Malilong: The real meaning of Sinulog

THE beer drinkers need not fret.

Mayor Michael Rama may have refused to grant special permits to sell alcoholic beverage at the Fuente Osmeña rotunda during the Sinulog, but they can always go elsewhere to get themselves intoxicated.

Rama deserves praise for what he did. He knew that it came at the risk of earning the displeasure of the country’s two giant beer companies, but he wanted to make a statement that the City Government will not help you get drunk to enjoy the festivities.

The concept of the Sinulog is homage. You dance in praise of the holy child in the hope that you get the favors that you’re seeking and in gratitude for the ones that you have already received. It was religious until someone thought it was cultural, too. Now it is first and foremost commercial.

We measure the success of the Sinulog by the volume and frequency of the rings of the cash register. We have many tourists, the hotels are fully booked, the department stores are teeming with shoppers: these are all the things that seem to matter now.

I am not saying that we should go back to the days when everything about the celebration was religious. But we should not lose sight of its origins. We should instead strike a happy balance between thanking God and making money. (more)

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