Placer, Masbate province, the defending champion of the Free Interpretation (FI) category, will be back with a second contingent to compete in the Sinulog Based (SB) category.
Ricky Ballesteros, executive director of the Sinulog Foundation Inc., said other out of-town dance troupes withdrew plans to participate because of the recent typhoons that struck Mindanao and Eastern Visayas.
At least two groups from Bislig, Surigao del Sur and Borongan, Eastern Samar had earlier signified their intention to join the parade but as of yesterday hadn’t sent word to organizers about coming to Cebu.
“Many more would have come for the Sinulog but because of the calamites, they didn’t proceed,” Ballesteros said.
Sinulog 2012 will open on Friday with a kick-off parade from the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino to the Cebu City Sports Complex grandstand.
As of yesterday, Ballesteros said they were 80 percent done with preparations.
Ballesteros met with Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama on Monday to discuss VIP accommodations.
Rama said he would invite President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay to watch the Sinulog Grand Parade.
“Their presence will add to the color of the Sinulog,” said Rama, who is finalizing their invitations.
Ballesteros said he was happy with the confirmation of 12 out-of-town contingents—two from Masbate, five from the Visayas and five from Mindanao—because this is still more than than the 10 out-of town contingents last year.
The 12 groups include Placer Masbate with two dance troupes; Dulag; Alang-Alang and Tanauan, all in Leyte; Santa Catalina and Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental; Kidapawan City in Cotabato; Kauswagan in Lanao del Norte; Liloy in Zamboanga del Norte; Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay; and Tangub in Misamis Occidental.
Nine contingents will compete for the FI category, and the three—Placer, Tangub and Liloy—will compete for the SB category.
“At least we have 12, that’s good number for the grand parade,” Ballesteros added.
In 2011, Placer bagged the crown for the FI category, but Ballesteros said the mayor of Placer who grew up in Santo Niño Village in Cebu City and a devotee of Sr. Santo Niño, decided to also compete with the SB category for the Sinulog 2012, so they have two contingents now.
Ballesteros said Placer hired choreographer Victor Cuenco, who was responsible for the victory then of Siloy contingent from Alcoy and contingent of Abuyog Leyte.
Based on the record of the SFI yesterday afternoon, 12 groups signed up for the FI category and four for the SInulog-based category.
However, more may come in close to the deadline for the registration on Monday next week. /By Jhunnex Napallacan, Correspondent With Correspondent Edison A. delos Angeles