Vendors along Osmeña Blvd. hope business will be brisk with Sinulog Festival’s return

VENDORS along Osmeña Boulevard in Cebu City hope their sales will improve with the return of the Sinulog Festival, now dubbed the One Cebu Island Sinulog 2023.

They’re back at their usual spot outside the Abellana National High School after a two-year hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Kalooy sa Señor Sto. Niño, karon kay mas maayo tungod siguro sa mga nanglabay nga duha ka tuig nga wala gyud ka celebrate sa Sinulog. Murag ang mga tawo kay nang-gigil,” said Randy Ibo, owner of Jaruss Apparel and T-Shirt Printing.

(By the grace of the Child Jesus, business will be better this year because in the last two years we weren’t able to celebrate the Sinulog. It would appear the people are very excited.)

Ibo sold printed and customized T-shirts in his booth every Sinulog festival for 15 years until 2021.

He opened his booth last Jan. 5, but he said some vendors had set up shop as early as Dec. 15, 2022.

The Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) charges P55,000 per booth.

Vendors like Ibo have until Feb. 15 to sell their merchandise.

Elmer “Jojo” Labella, SFI executive director, told SunStar Cebu there are a lot of vacant stalls or booths this year compared to previous Sinulog celebrations.

“Sauna kay puno-puno. Karon kay naa pay bakante (In the past, all the booths were occupied, but now there are some vacant booths),” Labella said.

As of Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, only 39 of the 55 booths had been rented out.

Interested vendors are required to pay rent worth P40,000 and a cash bond of P10,000. They can rent the booth only until Feb. 15. (PJB)