When the name “Sinulog” is mentioned, most Filipinos would without fail identify it as the iconic patronal fiesta of the Child Jesus or Santo Niño, that is held mid-January in Cebu City. But the Generals of GenSan, in particular the residents of Barangay Bula, have their own little take on the major festival from the Visayas, one that they have generously shared with the rest of the city and all visitors coming from beyond. The actual patronal fiesta proper is not until January 15, but already the festive mood has been high a week before; and the preparations underway too.
RMN reports that last Saturday, January 6, the first salvo of the celebration events in honor of Sr. Santo Niño took place at Brgy. Bula. This involved a preliminary fluvial parade of small fishing vessels launching from Purok 5, crossing the inner Sarangani Bay until reaching the GenSan Fish Port Complex in Makar, and passing the Queen Tuna Park in Brgy. Dadiangas South before returning to Bula. The participating boats were assembled by the Congson Family, and their route across the bay is the same route followed by the primary fluvial procession carrying the image of Santo Niño de Bula.
Considering this celebration that has since been expanded into a festival enjoyed by the city as a whole, a lot of security precautions have been put in place for the main fluvial parade according to TV Patrol SOCSSKARGEN, as well as the Sinulog dance and the other street dancing events that would be taking place in Bula. This year however, there are a few changes to the celebration being implemented. According to Barangay Kagawad Dante Granada, Bula Sinulog 2018 will not be having any concert performances, nor will they encourage outdoor feasting, one major draw for visitors to the occasion.
Kgwd. Granada adds that the only other major events that the Fiesta organizers will be allowing, other than the programs that will be held inside the Bula Parish complex, will be small karaoke singing competitions. These contests are to be hosted one each for every GKK. Meanwhile, the routine traffic restrictions will also be enforced as the day of the patronal fiesta approaches. Vehicles can only enter Bula through the Acharon Blvd, and exit through the Bula-Lagao Road. Private motorists will need a gate-pass to enter the barangay, and a VIP gate-pass is required to enter the parish church complex.
During the duration of the fiesta, only several specific locations of Bula are designated as parking areas for visitors, with prohibitions in place for parking at the roadsides. These changes were done at the behest of the GSCPO Station 6 Bula, in order to respond faster to emergencies in Bula.