Monday, January 16, 2012

Sinulog 2012, How Did It Go?

I don’t know with you, but for me, as usual, it was funtastic!

From in front of the Carreta Cemetery, we made our way leftwards (other friends went rightwards) by passing in the middle of the street. Yep, competing groups were already at their respective starting positions along the parade route, and military-training students were already barricading the sides with ropes. But everyone could still enter since the parade was still a long way from starting. It was just about 8:15AM! So everything and everyone of them we passed by were either doing some ’finishing touches’ or just waiting for 9AM.

Wait wait… I noticed, even until now, there are still many folks who keep asking “where the Sinulog Grand Parade starts”. My answer, it starts everywhere in the designated route! How is that? Well, its something they call a “carousel parade”. Meaning? Participants stand along the designated route, all of about 4 or 5 kilometers of it. Then at exactly 9AM, everyone starts dancing forward. Final destination? Where they started off. Just like a “merry-go-round” at your nearest amusement park. Imagine the contingents as the horses, then slowly turn the ‘carousel’ around until that horse in front of you makes a full circle. That’s how it is. So, as a spectator, you just stand or sit in one place and you are sure to see everything. (remember this route map)

What about the ‘showdown’ over at the sports center grand stand? Well, it is just part of the route. Meaning? If a group started out at Mango Avenue, they reach the sports center to do their thing onstage, BUT, after that, they exit and continue dancing the rest of the parade until they reach that point at Mango Ave., where they started. Ganun! Now you may ask “wouldn’t a group quit after their “showdown performance” at the stage? Hardly, since there are still various judging stations that all groups must pass along the entire parade route. That is for competing groups – there are just a handful anyway that are considered ‘guest performers’.

Let’s check out my notes…

Fun watching them groups do their final touch-ups just before the parade starts. It seems an unwritten requirement that each participant – male, female or gay – has to wear makeup. Thick makeup in fact and I really don’t understand why. Not that they have to look like some character as in a kabuki show, but most of them do become like so hehehe! Just imagine, each group usually have a hundred or more performers. That must be quite a lot of Avon, Mary Kay or Kukuryu used up all in one day!

Hey, did you know that most groups bring a spare (yep, reserve) image of the Sto. Nino? I asked one woman bringing such and her answer was “…just in case”. I imagined what she meant with that. Maybe just in case their festival queen accidentally drops and breaks the image? Gosh! I wonder, has there ever been a case where this unfortunate incident happened? Hmm, must be a good topic for Jessica Soho to investigate and feature in her Kapuso show hehe. I can imagine the outcome… “group did not win because the Sto. Nino got mad” and so on and on and on!

Oi, I could be wrong, but it seemed to me that there were less number of participating teams this year than last. But it was fun just the same!

Did it rain? Yes it did, in the afternoon at least. And it was not as heavy as last year. Everyone of them dancers still got wet though. And its not as if its dreaded btw. In fact, many Cebuanos would consider it a bad year if it doesn’t even drizzle during the festivities. It always does, mind you. And they consider it a “blessing” or a sign that it will be a year of fruitful abundance. I wonder!

There was more of the waiting this year. I mean it was almost noontime when troops were actually able to move continuously as a parade would go. Good that I was at the Imus area. The best groups usually get to start from there. Do you wonder why? Me too hehe. All groups say their starting locations are randomly picked. Hmm, how come all the best groups always get to start from there – so that they arrive and perform at the grand stand at “primetime” (late afternoon to early evening)! You still asking why I want to watch it at Imus road? Read this paragraph again hehe!

Aight let me stop here, and I have more ‘scoops’ in the next story! Promise!


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