Cebu's Sinulog Festival

Every third Sunday of January, the Queen City of the South celebrates the infamous Sinulog festival. This annual event commemorates the Cebuano's acceptance of Roman Catholicism and at the same time their pagan origin as observed from all the "tribal" costumes, paint and masks. This year I got to enjoy it with my younger sister and my cousin from Manila who is a relative first timer in this grand festivity.

Since I've already managed to insert bits of history in there, allow me to add a few more. Hundreds of years back, a Portuguese explorer in the name of Ferdinand Magellan arrived in Cebu's shores, planted a cross and claimed it as Spain's territory. They baptized the natives into Roman Catholicism and presented the Santo Niño, an image of the child Jesus, as a gift to Reyna Juana and Rajah Humabon. Upon accepting the holy image, Reyna Juana was said to have danced while holding the Santo Niño in her hands. The natives later on followed her suit. Sinulog is derived from a Cebuano word "sulog" which is roughly translated as "water current". The Sinulog dance consists of forward and backward steps which resembles that of the current's movement.

On the day itself, roads are closed from all types of vehicles (except for police, ambulances and other emergency automobiles and the floats of course!). No worries though. These only pertain to the main highways where the parades and street dances are en route. Can you see the swarm of people walking? There are even loads of street food! Cotton candy, peanuts, scramble, ice cream, sweet corn, taho and siomai anyone?

This float greeted us first. It reminds me of Pegasus from Disney's Hercules.

Riding on that float are four ladies in winged golden dresses. Can you see the Sto Niño right in front?

Oh no Darth Vader! Fear not. This one is no meanie. He's really approachable and allowed us to take a picture with him. Salute!

I love this float in particular. The detail they've put into this Egyptian themed spectacle is breathtaking. 

They even invited us to take photos! When you're planning to attend the Sinulog I suggest you charge all your phones and cameras well and don't forget to bring spare batteries. Loads of them.

This festival queen on the background had so many people wanting to have a photo with her so my sister had no choice but to deal with this. Poor baby sis! Nonetheless you look so cute in here Rhobbie!

Luckily, we spotted another festival queen (from another tribe/dance parade candidate) and took the opportunity.

We bumped into Loki too! He was in a good mood so he didn't zap us or what. LOL.

We were too busy watching, walking, eating and enjoying ourselves that this was the only photo of the street dancing I managed to snap. Epic fail. *sob*

After 7 hours and 6.4 km of walking all around the metro and enjoying the festivities we decided to go to the nearest mall and satisfy our food babies once again.

After which we decided to go home before it's too late. Unless you live near the heart of the city or have a hotel booked, going home can be a pain with the traffic and the hardcore commuting. Eeek! Arriving home, we plopped ourselves unto the sofa, ate the doughnuts we bought and watched Disney's Frozen as we rested our sore legs. Sinulog was a blast!

Till next year. Viva Pit Señor!


Emma McIlroy said...

Whenever you do these posts about places you visit or things you do, it always makes me wish that I lived in the Philippines so that I could get to do the awesome things that you do ! :)

andy said...

cool pics! looks like fun :)

Leyla said...

loved your photos, seems like you had a great time :)

Leyla Writes...

Anne said...

Thanks Emma! I really love reading your comments. They make me feel so happy and inspired to continue blogging. :) With so many islands in the Philippines there really are so many things to try, discover and see. Again thanks for being an awesome reader Emma! *sending virtual hugs and kisses*

Anais D said...

Nice photos! I'd give anything to be in that festival, looks amazing :)

From Making Things Alive

Anne said...

Thanks Anais!

xylem said...

Sinulog festival is really one big event in Cebu everyone should witness.=)

Anne said...

Totes agree!

Post a Comment