The Sinulog On TV

Being proudly Bisaya, I always make it a point to watch the Sinulog extravaganza on television every time I couldn't go to Cebu for the festival. Unfortunately, only Channel 4 (National Broadcasting Network) covers the festival -- and to point out the painfully obvious, NBN isn't CNN. All right, am sorry, that's not a fair expectation. And thus today, the TV in my room was tuned in to the station although I was merely watching passively. One has to be a masochist to be able to watch the coverage from start to finish.

Whoever picks the people who serve as "hosts" or commentators or annotators of the Sinulog needs to be sent to a basic TV course asap! These people, did not know what they were doing, had godawful grammar, and were simply not teleginec. I had to fight the urge to change channels everytime they came on board. For example: "The sinulog of course, also celebrates the arrival of Magellan hundreds of centuries ago - in fact, centuries of centuries ago." Oh my god, they made the Sinulog older than Jesus Christ, probably older than the dinosaurs. And I shudder at the thought of a festival that honors Magellan! Towards the end of the coverage, Asean dances were featured to hype up the fact that Cebu will be hosting the 2006 Asean Conference. Quipped the brilliant hosts "The Asean Conference is not just a national event. It is bigger as it will feature countries from all the parts of Asia." Arrghhhhhhh! Asean and Asia are two different concepts!

The Sinulog this year ended with a number that featured the Governor of Cebu dancing onstage. The anchors made a big deal out of it -- like talking endlessly about it, plugging the "big surprise" every time they had to go on commercial break. Since they kept on announcing that the Governor was dancing, what was the big surprise about it?

And since that finale number was sanctioned by the government and even had the Governor on it, couldn't they at least make that number more culturally accurate and relevant? Instead, they went for bongga costumes, spectacular props, etc., etc.. All of which screamed "hollywood!" "Olympics opening!" "GMA supershow!" "Bella Dimayuga!" Wheeeeeee.

The same can be said of the other Sinulog entries from various provinces and delegations. The Pampanga delegation was a ballet production, the group from Iligan had snatches of Lambada, Copacabana, and Mr. Suave in their production, etc. All the delegations had giant cardboards and styrofoam sets.

The sinulog has become more and more...commercial. It has become a TV production rather than an ethnic festival.


Anyway, Pit Senyor!!! to everyone. And may the infant Jesus bless all of us and keep us safe, healthy, and happy.


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