This time, Garcia won't perform in Sinulog

By Garry Lao, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 18 2014 10:39 AM | Updated as of Jan 18 2014 06:39 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Former Cebu governor and now Cebu third district Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia will not be dancing in the Sinulog grand parade on Sunday.

Garcia confirmed this after being hounded with queries for several days on whether or not she would be dancing in the Sinulog this year.

“Will I be dancing in this year’s Sinulog? No, I will not be dancing in this year’s Sinulog,” Garcia said in a statement posted on her Facebook account.

Garcia said she will join the fluvial procession tomorrow.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) though said yesterday that it may cancel the fluvial procession if the sea condition at the Mactan Channel would not improve.

Commodore William Melad, PCG-Central Visayas district commander, said the safety of the devotees is their primary consideration. At least 20 boats have registered for the fluvial procession.

Garcia first performed in the Sinulog in 2005 after she was elected as the first woman governor of Cebu in the 2004 elections. She then joined the multi-awarded San Diego dance troupe.

Garcia danced as a Maranao princess with the Haladaya Festival of Daanbantayan town in 2006.

The following year, she danced during the opening and closing ceremonies as an Egyptian queen and her favorite character, Aeda, queen of Nubia.

In 2008, Garcia danced with the Palawod Festival of Bantayan as the goddess of the sea; in 2009, with the Tostado Festival of Santander; and in 2010, with the Ani-anihan Festival of Tabuelan.

In 2011, Garcia performed during the Sinulog parade with the Bonga Festival contingent of southern Sibonga town.

In 2012, Garcia danced with the La Torta contingent that placed second runner-up in the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo Festival of Festivals, which was a natural choice since the Pasigarbo grand champion (Carcar’s Kabkaban Festival) and runner-up (Madridejos’ Isda Festival) were among the participants in the Sinulog competition.

But during those years, she represented the contingent from Cebu province. Last year, the province did not field any contingent in the Sinulog grand parade, apparently an offshoot of Garcia’s suspension.

But despite her suspension, Garcia was able to make her last dance for the Sinulog along with the Rosquillos Festival contingent of Liloan town.

In her account, Garcia said she would stay in the sidelines.

“This time I will be staying in the sidelines. Why? Because circumstances change... and I am no longer the governor of Cebu,” she said.

Although the circumstances have changed, Garcia said there is one thing that will remain the same: her love and devotion to the Sto. Niño.

“I would like to thank you for being there for me. So many of you have been, and continue to be, a valued source of strength and inspiration by your constancy and consistency,” she said. – Freeman News Service, Evelyn Macairan