Tourist arrivals for the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City are projected to increase by four percent this year, a Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) official said yesterday.
Neneth Castillon, Terminal Operations head of GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp., said 223,000 tourists, both domestic and foreign, arrived for the Sinulog last year and they are expecting that more will come for the 2019 edition of the grandest festival in Southeast Asia.
“Our projection is tourist arrivals for the Sinulog will increase by four percent this year, especially because of the participation of a Korean contingent in the grand parade, and we have flights from Korea daily,” Castillon said.
Stephanie Rose Villarica, chief of Sinulog Foundation’s Marketing and Promotions, said the Wonju Dance Company from Korea is among the 24 contingents participating in the grand parade on January 20.
“The Korean contingent is composed of at least 20 members and they will be arriving anytime next week,” Villarica said.
She also said that all is set for the Sinulog celebration, which will officially kick off on Friday and all activities and events will be held at the Plaza Independencia and at the Fuente Osmeña Circle.
Villarica said there will be food bazaars, nightly concerts, and cultural shows both at the Plaza Independencia and Fuente Osmeña.
Cebu City Public Information officer Malou Tabar, on the other hand, said President Rodrigo Duterte has been invited to grace the Sinulog grand parade, but they have yet to receive word from Malacañang Palace of his attendance.
Tabar said senatorial candidates in the May 2019 elections are also welcome to join in the festivities as long as they won’t be making any campaign speeches during the program.
Meanwhile, the better, more advanced, yet friendlier Sinulog 2019 mobile application will also be launched on Friday.
City Councilor Dave Tumulak, who also chairs the Sinulog Foundation Executive Committee, said the mobile app would enchant digital savvy devotees of Señor Sto. Niño and Sinulog revelers.
“I’m looking forward to new features like getting rewards for posting photos of your Sinulog Moments and the opportunity of users to vote not only for their favorite Festival Queen, but also for their favorite contingent,” said Tumulak in a statement.
The mobile app also features schedules of activities lined up for the week-long celebration and route maps for the religious procession on January 19 as well as the grand parade on January 20.
The Sinulog Festival is celebrated annually on the third Sunday of January in honor of Cebu’s patron Sto. Niño.*PNA
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