Sinulog 2010 not mixed with politics?

Cebu is ready for Sinulog 2010!

Sinulog is both a religious and cultural activity celebrated every third Sunday of January. For this year’s Sinulog activities and other important information, I recommend you to visit http://www.cebudaily.com, mycebuphotoblog.wordpress.com, and of course the official Sinulog website http://www.sinulog.ph.

Notes: Many writers still make references to Sto. Niño de Cebu as patron saint of Cebu. Sto. Roman Catholic Church believe that since Sto. Niño is a representation of Jesus, He cannot be considered a patron. Cebu’s patroness is Our Lady of Guadalupe de Cebu [pontifical decree issued by the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, May 9, 2006]. Even Sinulog’s official website still mentions the child Jesus Sr. Sto. Niño as the patron saint of Cebu. I hope this will be corrected soon.

Because Sinulog draws more than 2 million people (according to estimates), politicians drool to take part and take advantage of the celebration.

Cebuanos want to maintain the dignity of Sinulog by discouraging politicians to do political tricks (read as campaign) during the festival.

Sinulog Foundation, Inc. (SFI) prohibits  politicians and supporters from distributing leaflets promoting their political bid, Manila Bulletin reports.

Mayor Tomas OsmenaMayor Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City) repeatedly warned local and national candidates who plan to take advantage of Sinulog. Floats and banners with names of politicians are definitely not allowed at the parade route nor inside Cebu City Sports Complex where the parade finale will be held. Tomas Osmeña ordered police to implement prohibition although the Philippine National Police admitted that there is no legal basis to prohibit politicians from campaigning during the Sinulog, PhilStar.com reports.

Tomas Osmeña’s message is clear, Sinulog should not be mixed with politics!

I am not sure if Mayor Tomas Osmeña heard himself.

For the first time, Cebu City will have a float entry for the Sinulog grand parade on January 17. The float is the city’s way of thanking the Sto. Niño for the City’s first sale of SRP (South Road Properties) lots last year, and for the full recovery of Mayor Tomas Osmeña from urinary bladder cancer, according to Sun Star Cebu report.

The intention at first sight is very good and I appreciate that. But I see the wicked motive of the the city’s float. The same Sun Star Cebu report notes that SRP-MO (SRP Management Office) staffers and the Mayor’s Management Team who will be on the float will be wearing their shirts that read “Suya Ra ang Probinsya.”

Isn’t the city mixed Sinulog 2010 with politics?

Cebuanos know well (and get annoyed with) the bitter word wars between Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña and Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia. Obviously, the Suya Ra ang Probinsya shirts aimed to twit Gov. Garcia.

Cebu governor Gwen GarciaGov. Garcia, in her reaction, considered Cebu City’s move as a petty move. It is not important to me whether Garcia is affected or not. It’s none of my business. What concerns me more is the political foolishness that will taint the mind of the people during the Sinulog parade. Instead of enjoying the parade and feel blessed, Cebuanos’ mind will be contaminated with the personal grudges of the two leaders. How sad.

I feel pity to City’s staff who will wear the Suya Ra ang Probinsya shirt. I don’t know if they feel proud of it. If I were one of them, I would wish to get sick on Sunday and stay in hospital than being used to taunt a politician!

I see a picture of Mayor Tomas wearing his Suya Ra ang Probinsya shirt. He looked great on it. Yes, he was. But will the City’s staff look great with it? They might look great but I doubt if they would feel great.

I suggest (actually, hopping) that Cebu City hall reconsider their move and respect the Cebuanos and the Sinulog celebration. More than that, respect Sto. Niño de Cebu. There is still time to reconsider.

I include that in my prayers.

Pit Señor! God bless us all.

Bring down Noynoy Aquino’s popularity rating

Who would get surprised if one day a guy comes out and tells us that he was or he is Noynoy’s lover? Or a katorse (14-year-old) cries in front of national television telling all of us that she was raped by Nonoy some days ago?

Just to spice up stories, let’s all get surprised. But in Philippine politics, stories are fabricated; false witness are born. So will Filipinos get surprised when all of those unlikely breaking news come out?

Sen. Nonoy Aquino is consistently dominating on surveys despite of issues thrown to him, not-as-brainy as others out there; nothing but just a son of late senator and president; Hacienda Luisita, Kamag-anak, Inc., not capable to hold the office of the President and so on and so forth.

Being the consistent survey frontrunner, all other presidential bets have a common agenda of bringing down the popularity of Sen. Noynoy Aquino, Sun Star Cebu columnist Anol Mongaya wrote.

In a Special December 2009 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, Sen. Manny Villar’s ratings increased by six points which narrowed the lead of Sen. Noynoy Aquino from 19 to only 11 percentage points in a span of three weeks, PhilStar.com reports.

Manny Villar

Photo from quierosaber.wordpress.com

This excites Manny’s followers. A little success as they see it! The six points success of Villar can be attributed to his massive ads. Even children sing his ad jingles. Gilbert Remulla believes Villar will be able to lead in the surveys in the coming months says the same PhilStar.com report.

When Noynoy was asked his reactions,  he told as quoted by Inquirer.net reportthere are credible surveys and there are surveys that can be bought in Quiapo. The SWS survey was reportedly commissioned by Sen. Manny Villar.

Both Noynoy and Manny pull down each others’ position on ratings. We have witnessed this on a recent presidential forum. Villar hits Noynoy and the latter talk back. This highlights the very nature of political campaign – exchanges of juicy and cheesy words.

I won’t be surprised later if someone suddenly appears swearing that Villar’s billions was not the fruit of his sipag at tiyaga but come from a golden buddha Villar himself have discovered on his construction site. Juicy eh?

More than the cheesy and juicy stories, let us all decide on May 2010. Every vote counts!

Arnis: Philippines’ national sport and martial art

Finally we got a national sport and martial art that we can identify with. On December 11, 2009, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Republic Act 9850, or An Act Declaring Arnis as the National Martial Arts and Sports of the Philippines.

“We’ve done it. Now we have the law,” Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri told reporters as quoted by PhilStar.com. Sen. Zubiri is one of the co-author of the law that makes Arnis the national martial art and sport of the Philippines.

Cebuanos and Bisaya say Payter! for this development. Arnis is very popular in Cebu and the Visayas islands including Mindanao. Who haven’t heard of Doce Pares? Icons such as Eskrima Grandmasters Ciriaco “Cacoy” Cañete, Dionisio “Diony” Cañete, and Undo Caburnay are Cebuanos.

These legends are featured in Eskrimadors, a Cebuano-produced documentary about Filipino martial art. Clarence of Everything ubeC wrote about Eskrimadors. See the poster below.

Eskrimadors (a documentary film)

Eskrimadors

What is Eskrima or Arnis?

Eskrimadors’ producer Pointsource Films noted that although Eskrima is commonly perceived as a stickfighting art, it is a complete fighting system, encompassing punching (suntukan), kicking (sikaran), locks and submissions (dumog), and the use of a variety of impact and bladed weapons. Eskrima knife fighting techniques are considered the best in the world.

Pointsource Films added that Eskrima rose to popularity in the late 70’s when Bruce Lee and Filipino-American Dan Inosanto promoted the art through movies and seminars. Interest soon brought Doce Pares members to the U.S to conduct a series of demonstrations. That initial foray by Cebuano martial artists soon opened the floodgates and Cebu became known as the Mecca of Eskrima/Kali/Arnis.

Word Eskrima-Kali-Arnis Federation (Wekaf) Championships

In 2008, the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (Wekaf) championship was held in Cebu. It was an expected home court advantage but Americans got more gold than the Filipinos. Embarassed at home was Sun Star Cebu‘s sports page headline.

Atty. Dionisio Cañete, Wekaf Chairman Emeritus, was saddened by the loss of the home team but was overall happy that the event was successful, Karlon N. Rama wrote in Sun Star Cebu.

It was an eye-opener to all of us.

Now that we have the law, we all hope that we will regain our glorious days.

A must on Sinulog 2010: SM City Cebu Pyrofest 2

The country’s grandest festival is never complete without the most-anticipated fireworks display. One of my most anticipated activity on Sinulog 2010 is the Sinulog Pyrofest 2 on January 16, 2010 (Saturday, at 8:00 PM), fronting SM City Cebu Northwing.

Here’s the teaser of 2nd Sinulog Pyrofest at SM City Cebu from YouTube.

See you there!