Sinulog, without a doubt, is one of the most well-attended and vibrant festivals in the country. People from all directions and all walks of life flock to this popular local fiesta in Cebu every year. There are also numerous devotees of Sto. Niño de Cebu who make it a point to include the Sinulog festival in their pilgrimage. Sto. Niño, after all, is the reason for the celebration.
When I was invited to fly to Cebu to experience the famed festival this year, I immediately grabbed the opportunity. My first Sinulog experience truly lived up to the hype.
It was tiring, but definitely satisfying because I got to meet the lovely people of Cebu, visit famous destinations in Cebu City—such as the The Pyramid, IT Park and Yacht Club—and eat delicious Cebuano cuisine (like their yummy chorizo and lechon).
Partying the Cebuano Way
The energy was electric even at the start of the festival. Cebuanos surely know how to party— the Cebuano crowd is definitely one for the books! I was in awe of their energy. Even well into the evening, there was no sign of people retiring. Everyone was just partying it up.
I even got to attend a party in the middle of the sea! I absolutely enjoyed looking at the expanse of water around us as we ate, danced, and mingled. The entire city seemed to be buzzing with Sinulog excitement.
The Sinulog Grand Parade
One of the main highlights of the festival every year is the Sinulog Grand Parade. This year, the parade was a spectacle of colors and sounds. There were so many colorful floats. They came in all shapes and sizes, each one showcasing unique creativity and resourcefulness.
Some were adorned by famous brands, like the one built like a huge order of McDonald’s French fries. Others carried movie and TV personalities who really amped up the energy of the crowd.
The grand display of costumes was also out of this world! Some dancers were on fire—literally! Somehow, they were able to put flames on top of their head, which really wowed the spectators. The parade, held on the last day of the festival, typically runs from nine to twelve hours! Talk about non-stop partying!
Two tips to survive it? Wear comfortable footwear (slippers would be ideal) and always hydrate.
A Religious Culture
During my Sinulog experience, I couldn’t help but notice the religious nature of Cebuanos. It is their devotion to Sto. Niño that truly propels Sinulog. Despite the heat, the exhaustion, and the sheer number of people, they are motivated by the fact that they are paying homage to their patron. It is one of the things I definitely appreciate about Sinulog and the Filipino culture.
Given another chance to return to Cebu to attend Sinulog again, I would do it in a heartbeat—I’d want to experience the parties and the parade again. I’d recommend going to Sinulog at least once in your life. Once you get to Cebu during Sinulog, you’ll definitely catch the fever!
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by Deegee Razon