• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
With a theme “Sa Padayon nga Mapinasalamaton, Senior Santo Niño Kami Imo Hugpunon,” the 10-day “grandest” 48th Sinulog Festival of Kabankalan City in Negros Occidental, as described by Mayor Benjie Miranda, kicked off yesterday with series of activities.
More than P5.8 million worth of projects and P350,000 in cash has been earmarked as prizes for the winners of the Sinulog Tribal Competition, where 10 barangays of Kabankalan City are participating, disclosed Miranda.
He said that each of the 10 barangays also received P1 million each for their participation in the tribal competition, fluvial and float parade, as well as in the search for the Sinulog Queen.
The 10-day Sinulog Festival, loaded with activities, will cap on January 21 with the tribal competition.
Miranda said the champion barangay tribe is expected to receive P2 million worth of projects and a cash prize of P120,000.
The first runner is also expected to receive P1.5 million worth of projects and P100,000 cash; P1,000,000 worth of projects, P80,000 cash for the 2nd runner-up; and P750,000 worth of projects and P50,000 cash for the 3rd runner-up.
The six non-winning participants will not return home empty-handed, Miranda added, as they will also receive a total of P1.8 million worth of projects, which will be divided equally, and P20,000 in cash each.
There will be no losers, the neophyte mayor stressed.
The festival is the Kabankalan City’s rendition of the iconic “Ati-Atihan,” which their ancestors relished, dating back to the 13th Century.
During the event, participants wear colorful costumes, and bodies are painted in black while dancing on the streets, accompanied by lively beats of drums as a form of thanksgiving to their patron saint, Señor Sto. Niño.*