Pit Señor! Sinulog Festival in Cebu

The drum beat, the painted faces of revelers under the harsh sun (or rain), the dancers, the costumes, the merrymaking; all these things describe Sinulog, the queen of all festivals. If you want to see how Cebuanos truly celebrate and have a good time, the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City is something which you must absolutely see.

History of Sinulog

Sinulog is a yearly festival which is held every January and the events leading up to the grand parade are just as spectacular and significant. The festival is a commemoration of pagan origin of the Filipinos and their acceptance of Catholicism.

Santo Niño
The cute little Santo Niño

The festival lasts for nine days, culminating on the third Sunday of January in what is called the Sinulog Grand Parade. The Fluvial Procession is held the day before the parade at dawn with a statue of the Santo Niño or the little baby Jesus being carried on a boat from the city of Mandaue to the city of Cebu. The procession ends at the Basilica del Santo Niño where the re-enactment of Christianization is performed.

Tourists, festival participants and spectators

When participating in the Sinulog festival, you can expect the streets to be fully packed; you will hardly be able to move! Remember to take your camera and a bottle of water to rehydrate you.  The merrymaking is unlike anything you will ever see.

Festival dancer with a statue of the Santo Niño

Sinulog is an amalgamation of sorts. It blends the religious with the hedonistic; you will see the statue of the  little child Jesus everywhere but you will also see people with bottles and bottles of beer and cigarettes in their hand. It is a juxtaposition of the pious with the pompous. It is a time for religious reflection, as well as rambunctious parties that last well into the next morning, with people reeling from alcohol trying to find their way home. You can say that it is a contradiction of sorts but you will never find anything quite like it in the Philippines.

Sinulog, Cebu
Another festival dancer with the Santo Niño

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