The Sinulog Festival

Cebu Republic   October 15, 2014   Tours & Sightseeing Arts & Entertainment

If sometime in the past you made a leisure tour of the Philippines without experiencing the thrills and excitement of the SINULOG FESTIVAL in Cebu, you should beat the panties out of your travel agent or tour operator. You have been shortchanged. It's like booking you on a Brazil tour and not discovering what CARNIVAL IN RIO was all about. Ok. Perhaps your schedule didn't run parallel to its grand festivities which happen only in January. Fine. The next time around just make sure you do your bookings with a genuine Cebuana. You'll know she's a Cebuana if she's beautiful and shapely and smiles instead of slapping you, if you get fresh.


Sinulog, pronounced as See-noo-log is a Cebuano word meaning like the movement of water currents. And like a strong undercurrent that can grip you… this… one of the most festive, colorful events in the cultural spectrum of the country can hold you in awe. Like a delectable, mouth-watering Kobe steak served on your table, it sizzles. Its frenetic, mantra-like beat from the hundreds of drums during the grand parade cries out for you to let your hair down, join the street dancing and go wild.

Sinulog is actually an ancient ethnic dance performed by the early Cebuanos to pay homage to their gods. With Ferdinand Magellan's coming in 1521 and his gift of a Sto. Niño (Child Jesus) statue to Rajah Humabon's wife, the event not only introduced Christianity to Cebu but it became a foundation for the Sinulog's relevance. A depiction of Queen Juana raising the Sto Nino and blessing her subjects to ward off illnesses and demons became an integral part of the Sinulog Festival.

The Sinulog Fluvial Procession

As part of the tradition of bringing the Child Jesus to his parents in the different parishes of Cebu, a fluvial procession is held a day before the grand celebration. The image, encased in glass and bedecked with flowers is brought by watercraft representing a Spanish galleon.

The Sinulog Parade

Sinulog Mix 2014 - Dj Ed Electro

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, devotees and tourists take part particularly in this grandest of parades. It consists of multi-colored, earthy street pageantry with participants donning vibrant hues and styles made of silk and trimmed or fastened with feathers. In a frenzied mood they dance in the streets to the spell-binding beat of drums and gongs and the mantral cries of Pit Señor (Long live the Christ child!)

Then, there is also this frenetic whole week of religious and cultural activities climaxing in an all-day, almost all-night street dancing and parading in multi-colored costumes to a heart-thumping beat of native drums, trumpets and gongs. Resonating in the air are cult-like mantras wildly and loudly uttered by half-naked men and women with painted faces, stomping their feet on the ground as if preparing to go on a friendly warpath. This New Orleans-like Mardi Gras happens every 3rd Sunday of January, immediately a day after a mass celebration in the basilica is held in honor of Santo Niño de Cebu, long regarded as the city's patron saint. No invitations are handed out. You just let your hair down and join the fever- pitch revelry in the street.

SINULOG 2015 Schedule of Activities       Your Guide to Sinulog 2015

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