The Sinulog Festival

The Sinulog festival is one of the grandest and most colorful festivals in the Philippines. The main festival is held each year on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City to honor the Santo Niño, or the child Jesus, who used to be the patron saint of the whole province of Cebu (since in the Catholic faith Jesus is not a saint, but God). It is essentially a dance ritual which remembers the Filipino people’s pagan past and their acceptance of Christianity. The festival features some the country’s most colorful displays of pomp and pageantry: participants garbed in bright-colored costumes dance to the rhythm of drums, trumpets, and native gongs. The streets are usually lined with vendors and pedestrians all wanting to witness the street-dancing. Smaller versions of the festival are also held in various parts of the province, also to celebrate and honor the Santo Niño. There is also a Sinulog sa Kabataan, which is performed by the youths of Cebu a week before the Grand Parade. Recently, the cultural event has been commercialized as a tourist attraction and instead of traditional street-dancing from locals, Sinulog also came to mean a contest featuring contingents from various parts of the country. The Sinulog Contest is traditionally held in the Cebu City Sports Complex, where most of Cebu’s major provincial events are held.


One of the most celebrated and most awaited festival of the year here in the Philippines and I can’t even grace it with my presence. Seems like an ongoing trend for me to always miss the festival most others never would. To recap my three previous Sinulog experiences:

2006 – Watched Sinulog from the safe confines of my living room (in Iligan City). Pretty exciting huh?

2007 – Watched Sinulog on TV again, this time at the hair salon while getting a haircut (still in Iligan City).

2008 – Finally here in Cebu, but stayed indoors all day due to the rain, and I had to sleep all day since I have to work later on (the graveyard shift sucks).

2009 – Can’t even get to Cebu, all modes of transport are fully booked. Sinulog in two days! Back to TV world.


~ by Kevin on January 16, 2009.

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