Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sinulog 2012, The Big Day Plan

“Have breakfast wherever you are at 7AM, then immediately hit the streets and walk to your designated / chosen areas”! That was my most important “pretending to be authority” instruction to visiting friends over dinner last night! Some opted for the sports center grand stand (for which I bought tickets a week ago), some stayed with their Crowne Regency buffet, some at the fuente and Mango Ave. areas while me and 2 resident friends opted for Imus again. Being billeted at various places, we decided not to anymore meet as a group for the day but instead re-group by night time after the parade and presentations. Thanks to cellular communications not being cut off like it was over at the Black Nazarene celebrations in Manila!

This meant my visitors and I had so many versions of the grand parade and presentations. And it was fun comparing notes with everyone else during late dinner. Too many points of view, too many debates, too many altercations hehe. But a lot of unanimous decisions too! We could have spent until morning just talking about everything we saw. But, as usual, I can only tell my very own experience. So here we go…

Ayala. What has the place got to do with the Sinulog 2012 Grand Parade? Well, the place became a ‘staging area’ for many who watched the parade. Ayala Center did not only provide a wide car-parking space for thousands of folks, it also provided parking and resting areas for choppers. Yep, helicopters! I said ‘staging area’ since most families who opted to park there made use of the place also as a picnic area. And as early as 7 or 8AM, it already teemed with humanity of unimaginable proportions – this area being virtually a “no man’s land” that no level-headed Cebuano would go to or through on regular days. It’s a wonderful early morning jogging area though. But during Sinulog, it became like a park with too many people holding family picnics, some even looked like clan reunions. And there was even a bazaar!

Let’s talk about our ‘plans-of-attack’ so you’ll know what to do in Sinulog 2013:
(Places mentioned are shaded yellow on this map that I grabbed from the Sinulog website)

To Imus/Mango Areas:
Vehicle safely parked at Ayala, you walk through some sidestreet (continuation of Ayala’s Sorsogon Road) amongst residential houses and/or shanties of informal settlers to emerge out at Mango Avenue, near its corner with Gorordo (to the right), and/or MJ Cuenco and Imus Road (to the left). Voila, the parade route near Carreta Cemetery! Lunch options – for those at Imus Road, any of the make-shift or instant eateries on the side of the road while for those at Mango Ave, make way towards One Mango (sosyal)!

To the grandstand (Cebu City Sports Center)
Take a jeep, cab or whatever available transpo to Colon corner Jones (Osmena Blvd) then walk northwards to the sports center. Lunch options – baon or someone in the group goes down and out to buy food (which is excruciatingly wading through thick crowds); or buy from ambulant vendors roaming the grandstand.

To USC/Sto. Rosario Parish area
Same as above but head right at P. Del Rosario St., Lunch option – Jollibee across USC or walk down to Pete’s Kitchenette (sosyal din!) or even down to Colon. Bonus rest area – the Sto Rosario Church!

To Fuente OsmeƱa
Approach from the capitol and walk towards the crowd. Rule: where there is a crowd, that’s it hehe! Lunch option – just look left or right for the many choices (Robinsons, Larsian, KFC, McDo) or even walk further up to Joven’s Grill. Hmp! Buti pa sila!

To Jones (folks billeted at Crowne Regency)
Take the elevator to 2nd floor for buffet, take the window seat or go down to the hotel’s own bleachers at streetside after eating. We all had this to say… “mabulunan sana kayo”!

To Jones (folks not staying at Crowne)
Do any of the above and walk to your desired place along that road (preferably near McDo and Jollibee). Lunch options – Casa Verde’s main branch! We also had this to say “mag-take-out naman kayo for us”!

Fantastic plan, right? Nothing could go wrong, right? We’ll see in the next few stories hehe!


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