10 ways to have a safe and enjoyable Sinulog
By Christian Jay B. Quilo
Illustrations: Enrico P. Santisas and Angelica Budaño
SINULOG is one of the biggest festivals in the country — if not THE biggest festival in the Philippines. Year after year, the number of people who flock to Cebu for this annual event grows exponentially.
While it is imperative to have a good time, we must not forget to keep in mind that safety is still of utmost importance and that we must be responsible attendees of this much-awaited gathering. Here are 10 ways to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable Sinulog:
There may be metro aide assigned to clean up but let’s pitch in in minimizing rubbish on the streets as much as we can by throwing our garbage in the designated bins. If there isn’t one nearby, keep it with you until you find one.
Secure your belongings.
You don’t want to remember Sinulog as the time you lost your phone, do you? Put all your belongings in a compact bag. Don’t bring anything important or a huge amount of cash—just the absolute essentials if you can.
Don’t drink alcohol.
Save the booze for another day. There’s an imposed liquor ban in the areas near the procession and parade, so unless you want to get into trouble with the police, it might be best to stay sober during Sinulog.
Remember what Sinulog is truly about.
Through the years, some of us have forgotten the true essence of the Sinulog celebration: to give praise to Señor Santo Niño. It’s a religious and cultural celebration more than anything. So before you go and have fun, visit the Basilica and take a moment to reflect and say a few prayers.
Avoid being boisterous.
Have fun but don’t get too carried away. Be sensitive to others who are also enjoying their time. You can have a good time and not have to be obnoxious about it.
Do not cause commotion.
Don’t do anything that may trigger panic or fear like popping a party popper, lighting a firecracker or throwing objects into the air. In a situation where people are literally elbow to elbow such as Sinulog, this could cause a stampede and get people hurt.
If you see any suspicious activity, report it to the police.
We all want a safe and secure Sinulog for everyone, so if you see any sketchy behavior that could be potentially life-endangering, report it to a police officer. It could be nothing but it also could be something dangerous, so better err on the side of caution.
Hydrate and eat.
Should the weather cooperate, it’s going to be scorching hot. Being out all day and walking is exhausting so eat properly and drink water so you don’t faint or collapse. You can buy from concessionaires but you can pack your own snacks and water, too.
If you have small children with you, keep them close.
The streets are going to be packed with people so it’s not the best idea to bring your little kids. But if you are, make sure you hold them tightly while walking and if you can, carry them.
Be guided accordingly with road closures and re-routing.