The most anticipated Visayan festivals—Cebu’s Sinulog, Iloilo’s Dinagyang and Aklan’s Ati-Atihan—will push through next January, but will be subdued to prevent super-spreader events.
The Sinulog Foundation Inc. said that performer groups based in Cebu City will be live-streamed but those based out of town will need to pre-record their performances. The number of dancers per group cannot exceed 50, and no backdrops, rolling props, floats or effigies are permitted either.
Cebu’s Basilica Minore de Sto. Niño will also not hold religious activities in honor of the 456th Fiesta Señor, save for novena masses.
A Mass will be held on the last day of Ati-Atihan, but the customary foot procession that usually follows it, will not be done. Instead, images of saints would be carried through the main streets followed by a few vehicles and end at St. John the Baptist Cathedral.
The popular “sadsad”, or street dancing, will also be prohibited to avoid attracting crowds.
These events, normally attended by tourists and partygoers, will be reorganized to strike “A balance of health and economy”, according to president of the Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. (Iffi), Jobert Peñaflorida.
Apart from attempting a celebration that is “more virtual”, he said: “The bottom line is [this is] not [about] the dancing but honoring the Sto. Niño.”
Sinulog and Ati-Atihan occur on every third Sunday in January, while Dinagyang takes place one week later. The Ati-Atihan Festival is the oldest of those held in honor of the Sto. Niño (Child Jesus).
Photo: Guide to the PhilippinesPhoto: Guide to the Philippines