Recently hailed as the best festival in the Philippines, the Sinulog festival of Cebu has so much to offer. Every third Sunday of January, locals and tourists alike flock in the queen city of the south to witness a one of a kind festival.
Colorful, jovial and solemn. Three words that could sum up what the festival is like. Any form of photage wouldn't do justice to capture the finest things that happen every Sinulog. From its grand street parade which could devour an entire day, to the Sinulog dance contest held in the Cebu City Sports Complex, Cebu turns into a seedbed of wonder once the festival starts to begin.
What is Sinulog?
Before scrolling down to see some of the photos that I've captured during the festival. allow me to briefly state a bit of its colorful history, as well as its significance to the whole Cebuano society. chos!
Sinulog is a festival in honor of Señor Santo Niño or the Child Jesus. Its origin can be traced back on the early 15th century when a Portuguese conqueror named Ferdinand Magellan gave Hara Amihan, a native Cebuano leader, an image of the Child Jesus as a gift.
According to some sources, Sinulog comes from our local word sulog which means "like water current movement", describing the forward-backward steps of the traditional Sinulog dance.
Other sources state that the dance came from Rajah Humabon's adviser Baladhay who believed that he saw the child Jesus who taught him the dance steps.
Today the festival serves as a celebration of God's gift and a commemoration of our acceptance to Roman Catholicism. We celebrate Sinulog by conducting a series of novena mass, a solemn procession, and other various means of praising the Child Jesus, such as holding a Sinulog dance competition, a mascot making competition, and conducting a fluvial parade. Of course, some people, especially the millennials celebrate Sinulog via street parties, which is not bad, but some limitations must be considered.
My way of celebrating the festival is not by attending street parties but by simply joining the traditional Sinulog on the feast of Sto.Nino and by attending a mass. My simplest way of capturing the beauty of the festival is by taking photos so here you go.
A giant mascot made of compact discs and paper mache.
The many faces of the Child Jesus
Sinulog dancers, January 2016
Sinulog fluvial parade, January 2015
The Creation of the World; a painting on the ceiling of Basilica Minore del Santo Niño
Sinulog Novena Mass
I'm not a very religious person. I haven't completed any novena mass yet but celebrating Sinulog in my humble ways makes me more proud of being a Cebuano. The celebration reminds me of how beautiful and jocund life can be when God is with us. It makes me feel blessed.
If you are visiting Cebu on a January, don't ever miss the grandest festival of the Philippines.
Have a blessed weekend!