The Philippines is known as the predominantly Catholic nation in Asia. It’s either the 4th or 5th largest Christian country in the world, so it is no surprise that the Sinulog Festival is one of the more popular festivals in the country.
Cebu City hosts the Sinulog Festival annually for a month that culminates into the Sinulog Grand Parade. This 2019, it will be from January 1 to February 9.
The festival is a veneration of Santo Nino or the child Jesus.
Its history goes back to the time when Magellan came to the shores of the Philippines and brought Christianity with him. That’s when the pagan past of the Filipinos mixed with Christianity.
Check out this guide for how to go there, what to expect, and tips when attending.
You can fly directly from Manila to Cebu. Then you can take a taxi from Mactan Cebu International City to wheel you to Cebu City.
The plane ride will take about an hour while the taxi ride won’t take 20 minutes.
You can take a bus going to Batangas from the MRT Buendia station. Travel time is estimated to be a little less than three hours.
You can reach Cebu from the Batangas pier via ferry ride. The ferry ride will take about 18 hours more or less.
2GO Travel offers ferry rides directly from Manila to Cebu International Port. Travel time averages to 11 hours.
The Mactan-Cebu International airport is where most domestic and international routes in Cebu are availed. Buses, jeepneys, taxis, and tricycles are all available in the roads there.
If you stick to the cities inside Cebu then cellphone service will be reliable. Outside of the cities though cellphone service can range from spotty to non-existent. During the Sinulog festival the local government sometimes shuts down cell service for security reasons.
The main festival is held in Cebu City. The streets will be filled with vibrant costumed dancers for the eyes and gongs, trumpets, drums for the ears. It really is a riveting assault on the senses.
A fluvial procession the day before the parade conveys an image of the Santo Nino to the Basilica de Santo Nino. This happens together with the reenactment of the Christianization of the Datus and the people by the Spanish.
The afternoon takes the procession to the major streets of the cities. Novena masses are held in churches.
Cultural shows, fun runs, fireworks, film screenings, trade fairs, and a variety of contests are all packed in a single month of celebration to make sure your experience of Sinulog is unforgettable.
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Are you a budget traveler? Check out these accommodations under PHP2,000 to save on expense. They offer basic accommodations without sacrificing comfort.
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While you shouldn’t miss the best lechon in Cebu, there are other interesting cuisines to try when in the city. Make sure to check these restaurants out:
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Come and witness the Sinulog Festival! Visit Traveloka for great deals on hotels and flights.
Go and join the gathering!
Every April, Dagupan City honors its rich milkfish industry by celebrating the Bangus Festival.