Sinulog is an annual celebration of the province of Cebu, Philippines signifying the arrival of its Patron, Sr. Sto. Nino in its shores. It is considered one of the biggest events in the country with thousands of tourists coming to the city to enjoy a whole lot of things including its notorious street parties.
Let’s get one thing straight. We know what Sinulog is about. We’re not dumb. We’re not idiots. Sinulog is not just the Sunday anymore. It has become a season. The 9 days of novena, the procession, parades. All of it combine to a collective Sinulog season. It’s disgraceful to know that people think that the youth have no idea what Sinulog is all about mainly because of how they perceive the youth every Sunday. However, this is the same youth that push their limits into attending mass every 4:00 am (or any other time) at the congested Pilgrim Center of the Basilica del Sto. Nino. This is the same youth that sings the Batobalani during those nine days. It’s the same youth who walked during the Saturday procession. It’s appalling to judge the youth for not knowing what Pit Senyor means when in fact the youth have the grandest idea of what it really is.
Yes, there are street dances on Sinulog Sunday with the grand floats, elaborate costumes and graceful choreography. All of it, but you don’t have to watch them to celebrate Sinulog. Some of us just aren’t fans like how some people aren’t fans of basketball games or pageants. Some or most of us just would want to party on the streets (most particularly along Juana Osmena/ near Mango Ave.) It’s the place where we gather and celebrate, and it has always been that way for a few years now. Notice how everyone is smiling on those streets smearing paint and sharing alcohol with one another even if we don’t even know each other. It’s that kind of celebration where everyone is suddenly an acquaintance to the other. That is how we have fun similar to you having fun looking at those costumes or merry-making at your festive homes.
Now for those of you passing by the “party streets” with your cars or with your kids, the whole world wouldn’t stop for you to put it bluntly. We understand you have a kid; we really do. Fact is, even if we all step aside, it will just be too difficult for you to pass mainly because of the human congestion of that place added to the fact that your kid might be small and couldn’t easily be noticed right away, and then you also have you cars taking up most of the space of the street. It’s best to evade the particular street, and look for other routes. There are plenty of routes out there much safer for you. Besides, we don’t occupy every single street in Cebu. There’s a reason why we party near Baseline/Fooda. It’s how we occupy this street the same way the street dancers occupy the main roads, and how there are roads for the pedestrians/casual viewers as well.
We concede, however, that there are idiots out there who would randomly kiss you (which is harassment, btw). They might do it because they had this jealous idea that some people would also want to get kissed and get too drunk to party and make a scene. That’s how it is at a typical party anyway. There are things we couldn’t control. Best thing that YOU can do is to report such harassment. Believe me, I don’t want a stranger to randomly kiss me especially if that stranger was way creepy, so we both know how it feels. If you don’t wanna be kissed or harassed, prepare your pepper sprays or self-defense or just shout and seek help from other people. NOT EVERY MEMBER OF THE YOUTH WANTS TO RANDOMLY KISS SOMEONE BECAUSE SOME OF US DON’T WANNA GET KISSED/LICKED TOO.
If you do see someone getting harassed or if a fight breaks out, there’s always the police at the nearest corner waiting to stuff them up. I recall a police officer once taking care of a woman who was too drunk to move. Thankfully, her friends came to help her go home. The police are there. No, they aren’t just men in uniform for public visibility, but they are actually there to help. If you need assistance, just ask them.
Now for those drunk people lying on the streets, we can’t really help them that much, can we? I think it’s every individual’s responsibility to party responsibly (aka have friends you rely the most to help you, not to get too drunk and know your effin’ limits). Don’t go suggesting we isolate ourselves at SRP because we’re not prisoners, and we are part of Cebu too. It’s our own way of communistic merry-making. In every fiesta, there’s always the merry-making to culminate the activity, and this is it for us.
Sinulog really is the time when Cebuanos can feel the generation gap. Comment below.