Cebu prepares for Chinese fest

CEBU CITY — Hotels in the city are about 80 percent booked for the Chinese New Year, said Acting Mayor Joy Augustus Young.

This is good news for the City Government, which is organizing the 1st Annual Xin Nian: Cebu Chinese New Year Festival on February 5.

Chinese New Year is on February 3, but Young said the Cebu City Tourism Council (CCTC) does not want to compete with family celebrations.

Young ordered his staff on Monday to hang promotional streamers in key areas for the festival, which will be held at the Ayala Terraces.  (more)

Cebu to host Chinese New Year fest

CEBU CITY — The Cebu City Tourism Commission (CCTC) and the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) will hold a Chinese New Year festival on February 5 this year.

The event, dubbed as the “1st Annual Xin Nian: Cebu Chinese New Year Festival 2011,” will be held at the Ayala Center Terraces from 6 p.m. and onwards, said the organizers. Xian Nian is the Mandarin way of saying Kung Hei Fat Choi, or Happy Chinese New Year in English.

Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young, in a press conference at the Waterfront Cebu on Tuesday, said the event is open to the public. Twenty-five booths to be occupied by restaurants and stores will sell Chinese food.

Among those invited to sell are the old Chinese restaurants in downtown Cebu like Snow Sheen, La Fortuna, Manila Restaurant, and those selling siomai sa Tisa, among others.

“It’s going to be a food festival in Ayala,” said Young.

The festival will also highlight a fashion show featuring the private collection of Elizabeth Gan Go of the University of Cebu.

“The collection was shown during the Ms. Cebu Pageant and the Sinulog 2011 Grand Finale but was not highlighted,” said program director Jonjet Primor. (more)

Sinulog ticket sales hit P2M; income to go up

THIS year’s Sinulog earned at least P2.2 million from ticket sales alone.

Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) executive director Ricky Ballesteros said their income will still increase as they have yet to compute their earnings from the registration fees for the photo contests and other competitions.

Ballesteros said the ticket sales this year are much bigger than in 2010, although he could not recall offhand how much was earned last year.

In an interview with Sun.Star Cebu, Ballesteros said their income from the tickets already includes the sales during the Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan, Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan and during the Sinulog grand parade.

For the grand parade last Jan. 16, SFI printed some 5,900 tickets, ranging from P500 to P600 each.

Meanwhile, the SFI said they will be giving awards to contingents that have won 10 times in the Sinulog grand parade. (more)

P14.5M Sinulog aid deferred

THE Cebu City Council deferred the release of the P14.5-million financial assistance to the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) that covers the expenses for this year’s Sinulog celebration.

This, after Councilor Margarita “Margot” Osmeña pointed out the restrictions of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the giving of cash aid to non-government organizations (NGO).

Under COA Circular 2007-0001, any local government unit cannot give aid to any NGO whose incorporator, director, organizer or officer is related to any local official involved in the approval or release of government funds.

In the case of SFI, Mayor Michael Rama is its over-all chairman.

“If we will approve the release of the fund, how will we go about the restrictions of COA?” said Osmeña.

This prompted Councilor Jose Daluz III, who sponsored the resolution, to withdraw his previous motion that seeks the council’s approval for the release of the fund.

Daluz referred his resolution to the council’s committee on laws, headed by Councilor Edgardo Labella, for comments and recommendations. (more)

Sinulog 2011 Winners

Street Dancing Category:

First place: Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe of Tangub City
Second place: Lanao del Norte
Third place: Lumad Basakanon

Virtual Decor:

First place: Elizabeth Mall
Second place: Gaisano Main

On-sight Decor:

First place: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
Second place: PLDT Co.
Third place: Abellana National High School

Float Category:

First place: International Pharmaceutical Inc.
Second place: LGU Lanao del Norte
Third place: LBC

Puppeeters Category:

First place: Fernando Coronado
Second place: Angeline Aranas Fuentes
Third place: Lizailyn Pael

Higante Category:

First place: Christopher Baligan
Second place: Esperia Panares
Third place: Juanito Awa Jr.

Best in Musicality (Free Interpretation category):

Tribu Himag-ulaw of Placer, Masbate

Best in Musicality (Sinulog-based category):

Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe of Tangub City

Best in Costume (Free Interpretation category):

Tribu Buyogaynon of Abuyog, Leyte

Best in Costume (Sinulog-based category):

City of Carcar

Free Interpretation:

First place: Tribu Himag-Ulaw of Placer, Masbate
Second place: Tribu Buyogaynon of Abuyog, Leyte
Third place: Tribu Mabolokon of Mabolo Elementary School
Fourth place: Tribu Kandaya of Daan Bantayan, Cebu
Fifth place: Talamban Elementary School


First place: Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe of Tangub City
Second place: Abellana National High School
Third place: City of Carcar
Fourth place: Tawo-Tawo Festival of Bayawan City
Fifth place: Cebu City Central School

Editorial: New venue for Sinulog festivity

THE Sinulog festivity should, ideally, be in a wider avenue (for the street dances and parade) and bigger venue (for the grand parade’s culminating program).

Or haven’t we heard, for example, organizers’ post-Sinulog assessments claiming how each year’s festivity crowd is always bigger than that of the previous one?

The problem there, however, is where.

This year, Sinulog Foundation’s Ricky Ballesteros mentioned the South Road Properties (SRP), the baby of former Cebu City mayor and now Rep. Tomas Osmeña, who promptly shot down the proposal.

“It won’t work,” he said, considering the current condition of the SRP. Which is true.

At the SRP, the roads are wider and several hectares of lots are vacant, advantages that are also limitations.

Take it from those who have been to the SRP without a vehicle to ride in. They’ll tell you that for the lack of trees and man-made structures as shield, the heat there kills and, so do heavy downpours. (more)

Malilong: Placer and Masbate rising

IT warms the heart to hear nice things happening to your home province, warmer still when they happen two years in succession.

I was a 15-year-old fresh high school graduate when I left Masbate more than 40 years ago. To describe the community that I left behind as backward is an understatement.

There was no electricity, land transportation was next to non-existent, and the only access we had to news outside our own little world was through the transistorized radio set that only very few households possessed.

We were so far removed from civilization then that when I arrived in the city, I suffered from some sort of culture shock. I couldn’t cross the street without my sister holding my hand and froze every time I heard a siren wailing. One of my most embarrassing moments was when I tripped inside a movie house (Liza theatre on Pelaez St.) and landed awkwardly two or three steps down because I did not know (and was not told by my companion) that the balcony section had stairs. (more)

Wenceslao: Rained procession, Sinulog dances

AFEW thoughts on Fiesta Señor 2011: Solemn procession. That rain didn’t dampen the Cebuanos’ devotion to the Sto. Niño is not surprising. Our old beliefs don’t actually consider rain pouring as bad; rather, we take it as God “showering” us with his blessings. So when the rain falls when, say, we are in a procession, no complaints. We endure the wet feeling. If not, there’s this thing called umbrella.

Heavy rain poured right smack into the solemn procession one day before this year’s fiesta. I was in the Sun.Star office with my son Khan-khan when we noticed the blackish water rise along Don Pedro Cui, P. del Rosario and Junquera streets. Meaning, we were trapped. So too were some of our fotogs, who had to wait for the rain to ease a bit and for the flash flood to subside before they could get out of the building.

The main routes of the procession were a block or two away (Osmeña Blvd. and, farther south, V. Rama Ave.). That was where some of the people that passed our office came from. That meant a portion of the crowd had seen enough and were going home wet, with some of them still carrying images of the Child Jesus.

I decided to go to E-Mall, where part of the procession passed, to buy an umbrella. I guided my son through streets that still had blackish water flowing into the canals in some areas. Visions of illness caused by dipping one’s feet into the dirty liquid worried me. We managed to cut through the procession both at the Osmeña Blvd. area and along the road across E-Mall. After buying the umbrella, we headed back to the office. (more)