'Bato' to personally oversee Sinulog security

Jude Torres and Junrey Nadela, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 12 2017 09:12 PM

CEBU — The Public Information Office of Police Regional Office-7 confirmed that PNP Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa will be here on Saturday night. 

Dela Rosa will be briefed on the security preparations for the Sinulog Grand Parade on Sunday. He will also be informed of the temporary shutdown of telecommunication signals.

Dela Rosa is also scheduled to meet with Sr. Insp. Alexander Nuñez's widow and children. Nuñez was killed on Christmas Eve after responding to a trouble alarm. He was the chief of police in Catmon town.

On Saturday, 300 members of the Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary will be deployed for the Fluvial Procession of the image of the Santo Niño.

In the final briefing, about 50 boats and vessels will be used for devotees and security personnel.

There will be a floating hospital complete with doctors, nurses, and equipment for emergency response, as well as a vessel by the explosive ordnance division unit of the Philippine Navy, which will respond to alarms triggered by terror attacks.

A dry run of the festivities will be conducted on Friday with the galleon, the vessel that will carry the image of the Santo Niño.

Meanwhile, the Lanao del Norte contingent is determined to win the title again. The province won last year's free interpretation category. It also took home the best in musicality and best in costume awards.

The so-called "Land of Beauty and Bounty" has more than 200 dancers, choreographers, and props men participating.

According to Marck Eric Cebalucus, the Lanao del Norte team's choreographer, the province's performance is inspired by the relationship between Christians and Muslims in the region. He said the two groups are united, living peacefully and respect each other.

The contingent has at least 10 Muslim dancers this year.

Sainor Sabdani, a Muslim dancers, said he respects the belief and faith of Christians and he will be dancing with joy and gratefulness to the Santo Niño.

Besides the contingents preparing for the grand parade and showdown, small businesses are now also busy.

Stalls selling images of the Holy Child and offering repairs are now a hit.

A lot of devotees are buying new images, which they will use for religious activities such as the Traslacion, the Fluvial Procession, and the Solemn Procession.

Charito Pichavant, who arrived here from Italy for Fiesta Senyor, went to one of the stalls to have her image of the Holy Child repaired and dressed. Pichavant got the image as a gift from her children. She will be carrying it for the Solemn Procession on Saturday, Fiesta Senyor's eve.

Dresses for the image of the Holy Child are mostly in green and red, with gold beads and embroidery. They cost between P300 and P2,500.

Booths selling Sinulog souvenir shirts are now open on several streets in Cebu City. Shirts are sold at P150 to P180.