BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The fiesta atmosphere continues even after the holidays in the southern Negros Occidental city of Kabankalan but takes on a religious tone tomorrow as its mayor hopes for a better year.
After the successful Star City of the South Yuletide festivities last December 2022 that saw the city light up, Kabankalan goes on another nine-day festivity that has deep religious roots: the Sinulog 2023.
The streets are expected to explode with colors and pulsate with the beats of the drums to the tune of the Sinulog dance characterized by its forward-backward movement as it officially opens Friday, 6 January 2023.
Mayor Benjie Miranda had earlier said during the switch on of the city’s Christmas lights that these symbolize their looking towards hope amid a series of events from several years ago, from the COVID pandemic in 2020 that affected residents of the first class city to Typhoon Odette in 2021 that led to death and destruction.
Tomorrow marks the first day of Part 1 of Sinulog 2023 that will feature a whole day of volleyball and table tennis action at the K Center Gymnasium.
The volleyball tourney, dubbed “Spike sa Sinulog” 2023 Volleyball Tournament and table tennis hostilities both start 8am but the volleyball action ends at 5pm while the table tennis matches end at 7pm.
The traditional sadsad or worship dance returns after two years as devotees join the Senor Santo Nino images on a procession loop that will pass through Guanzon, Lirazan, Rojas, Coloso, Guanzon, Burgos, Moreno, Rizal, Tayum, CV Garcia streets and back to the plaza.
The formal opening program starts 7pm at the plaza during which there will be a blessing of Santo Nino images and children.
The rest of the night will feature a fireworks display at the city football field to be capped by the Sinulog Celebrity Night at two venues, the plaza and the football field.
Singer Emmanuelle Vera is slated to perform 8:30pm at the plaza followed by homegrown band Cali Island at 10:30pm while Rampage Band performs 9pm at the football field.