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Here’s everything you need to know about Sinulog 2017

Sinulog isn’t just about the floats, parties and fun-loving crowds—beyond that is a cultural institution that celebrates the province’s acceptance of the Catholic faith and its unwavering devotion to the Santo Niño.

And just like that, the holidays are over—which, in Cebu, means only one thing: Sinulog Fever!

While the country’s biggest festival is best known for the crazy parties happening on the streets, Sinulog goes beyond that. We take a look at its history, the various ways of celebrating it, and the schedule of activities, because yes, Sinulog actually lasts more than a weekend!

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SO, HOW DID IT ALL START?

Sinulog 2016 (Photo contest winning entry by Daniel Ybañez)

Sinulog street dancing (2016 photo contest grand winning entry by Daniel Ybañez/Sinulog.ph)

Ferdinand Magellan presented the image of the child Jesus or Santo Niño as a gift to Hara Amihan, the wife of Cebu’s ruler Rajah Humabon, when they landed in Cebu in 1521.

It is said that Hara Amihan was overjoyed at the sight of the Santo Niño and started dancing, paving the way to the conversion of 800 natives to Christianity and the changing of her own name to Queen Juana.

After Magellan was killed and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi arrived more than 40 years later, his men found the Santo Niño in one of the local houses. The devotion to the Santo Niño has steadily grown stronger since then, with the annual Sinulog parade that has gained momentum since it started in 1980.

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OKAY, I’M READY TO CELEBRATE. HOW?

We ask Cebuanos about the different ways one can take part in the celebrations.

NIGHTWALK FROM DOWNTOWN TO MIDTOWN

Walking along Cebu's streets (Photo by Robo Formacion/Sinulog.ph)

Walking along Cebu’s streets (Photo by Robo Formacion/Sinulog.ph)

philip-lapinidAs someone who loves city walks and streets, I suggest that one should try a night walk from downtown all the way to the midtown streets of the city.

Start off with a night visit at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño – the focal point of the Sinulog festival. Then, the Magellan’s Cross where one can offer candles and prayers. Walk in the oldest street of the country, Colon and haggle on some pieces at night market. Then proceed to Osmeña Boulevard, where pictures of beautiful tourist attractions are installed at random parts.

Last stop should be the Fuente Osmeña Circle. Take a selfie with the giant Christmas tree and watch concerts of local artists inside the rotunda. Other than a good exercise, the night walk can let you experience the city’s lively culture. – PHILIP LAPINIDphotographer

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SINULOG AT THE GRANDSTAND

Sinulog performances (Photo by two2travel/Sinulog.ph)

Sinulog performances (Photo by two2travel/Sinulog.ph)

sinjin-pinedaSinulog, being the country’s biggest festival, can be quite overwhelming, with numerous activities happening around the metro, some coinciding with another.

For repeat visitors who have had their dose of religious homage and the infamous street parties, staying at the Grandstand on Sinulog Day is another dimension of the festival that should be experienced. It is only at the Grandstand where dancing contingents get to perform their entire five-minute “ritual presentation.”

Enthusiasts of dance as a form of art and praise will surely appreciate the intricate costumes, larger than life props and backdrops, and visual effects set on the big stage to reflect each group’s storylines and interpretation of the Sinulog dance. – SINJIN PINEDA, travel blogger

Purchase your tickets at the Cebu City Sports Center along Jones Avenue, Cebu City. Tickets range from Php 1,000 to Php 2,500.

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NOVENA MASSES

Novena Mass at the Basilica

Novena Mass at the Basilica (Photo by Daniel Ybañez/Sinulog.ph)

franz-bulanI suggest people attend the earliest Mass Novena schedule because the crowd is still manageable. I am not fond of congested areas and brushing of elbows, that is why I prefer this schedule. In addition, I get to start my day with God. I need my daily dose of positivity and enlightenment from the Holy Child. – FRANZ BULAN, online teacher

Novena Masses are from January 6 to January 14, with the first one starting at 4:00 p.m., and last one at 8:30 p.m.

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STREET PARTY

Street party (Photo by Carlito Felicen/Sinulog.ph)

Street party (Photo by Carlito Felicen/Sinulog.ph)

mayan-benedictoI always look forward to the street dancing and partying. Think face paint and beer showers! It’s always fun even just walking through the crowds to your destination. You are greeted by strangers with “Pit Señor!” and a high-five, a shot, a bottle of beer, a hug, a slap of paint on your face and body, or all of the above so it’s best you wear clothes you’re okay getting rid of after the festivities.

Go out in the morning to watch the parade before heading out to street parties in the afternoon, that way you get to see the dances and it won’t be too crowded yet. – MAYAN BENEDICTO, travel guide

Mayan also hosts an open-for-all house party at Juana Osmena Ext., a few minutes away from the parade route and steps away from the party district. See Facebook event for more details.

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GREAT! WHERE DO I GO?

Here’s the Schedule of Activities for Sinulog 2017.

Festival Queen (Photo by Joel Olivares/Sinulog.ph)

Festival Queen (Photo by Joel Olivares/Sinulog.ph)

December 1, 2016 – January 31, 2017
Sinulog Street Fair, Osmeña Boulevard

Friday, January 6: Sinulog 2017 Kick-Off
10:00 A.M.: Sinulog Trade Fair, SM City Cebu
02:00 P.M.: Solemn Mass, Basilica Minore del Santo Niño
03:00 P.M.: Launching Parade, Basilica Minore del Santo Niño to Cebu City Sports Center
05:30 P.M.: Novena Mass. Basilica Minore del Santo Niño
07:00 P.M.: Opening and Launching Program, Fuente Osmeña

Saturday, January 7: Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan
02:00 P.M.: Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan, Cebu City Sports Center
07:00 P.M.: Miss Cebu 2017 Pre-Pageant Night, Ayala Activity Center

January 7-12
09:00 P.M.: Street Party Bands Concert, Fuente Osmeña

Festival Queen (Photo by Dan Douglas Ong/Sinulog.ph)

Festival Queen (Photo by Dan Douglas Ong/Sinulog.ph)

Sunday, January 8: Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan
03:00 A.M.: Cebu City 2017 Marathon – www.cebumarathon.com
02:00 P.M.: Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan, Cebu City Sports Center

Wednesday, January 11
07:00 P.M.: Miss Cebu 2017 Coronation Night, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino
08:00 P.M.: Sinulog Idol, Fuente Osmeña

Thursday, January 12
06:00 P.M.: Balik Cebu Welcome Party, Ayala Activity Center
06:30 P.M.: Sinulog Festival Queen Runway Competition and Photoshoot
08:00 P.M.: Handumanan, Ayala Terraces
08:00 P.M.: Sinulog 2017 Idol Grand Finals, Fuente Osmeña

Friday, January 13
04:00 A.M.: Walk with Mary, Fuente Osmeña to Basilica Minore del Santo Niño
06:00 P.M.: Sinulog 2016 Dance Crew Finals, Cebu City Sports Center
07:30 P.M.: Sinulog Festival Queen 2016 Coronation Night, Cebu City Sports Center
08:00 P.M.: Cebu Popular Music Festival, Cebu Coliseum

Festival Queen (Photo by Francisco Pajares Jr./Sinulog.ph)

Festival Queen (Photo by Francisco Pajares Jr./Sinulog.ph)

Saturday, January 14
06:00 A.M.: Fluvial Procession of the Miraculous Image of the Sto. Niño
09:00 A.M.: Re-enactment of the Baptism of Queen Juana and Rajah Humabon, Basilica del Santo Niño
12:00 P.M.: 12th Street Vibration & Big Bike Rally 2017 by V-max Owners Group, Inc. Cebu Chapter
02:00 P.M.: Solemn Procession of the Miraculous Image of Sto. Niño
07:00 P.M.: Sinulog Fireworks Competition, SM City Cebu
07:00 P.M.: Street Party, Fuente Osmeña and Plaza Independencia

Sunday, January 15: Sinulog Grand Parade
4:00 A.M.: Mañanita Mass, Basilica del Sto. Niño
6:00 A.M.: Pontifical Mass, Basilica del Sto. Niño
8:00 A.M.: Holy Mass, Cebu City Sports Center
9:00 A.M.: Sinulog Grand Parade Carousel Kick Off
7:00 P.M.: Grand Finale and Grand Fireworks, Cebu City Sports Center
9:00 P.M.: Pyrospectacular Show, SM City Cebu
5:00 P.M.–2:00 A.M.: Sinulog DJ Mixing Grand Finals Night, Fuente Osmeña Circle
12:00 MN: Sinulog Fireworks, SRP

Monday, January 16
Awarding Ceremonies, Cebu City Sports Center

Saturday, February 4
01:00 P.M.: Sinulog Short Film Festival, SM City Cebu
06:00 P.M.: Awarding Ceremonies for Photo Contest, Short Film and Video Documentary Contest, SM City Cebu

February 4 –13
Photo Exhibit: Winning Photos Sinulog 2017, SM City Cebu

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Culture

After the Razzmatazz and Razzle-dazzle: Post-Sinulog Thoughts

by Chrissy Grey Resaba

Buntings of red and yellow were removed from post to post. Streets were cleared and cleaned. Fireworks displays were faded in the sky. Beats of #prititit and tunes of tourism-booster Cebu tracks were being put to archive once again.

Contingents from different parts of Cebu and Central Visayas had gone back home. Party people had gone sober while some are still recovering. Traffic has gone back to normal. Businesses, as well, has gone back to normal.

However, all the fun and loud chants, smooth grooves, and frenzied choreographies are still replaying from the memory banks of the people who celebrated Sinulog 2020. The queen of all festivals in the Philippines has left again another mark of cultural and festive nostalgia to the people from all parts of the world and Cebuanos alike.

After all the razzmatazz and razzle-dazzle, let’s get to know what are these IG and FB personalities’ #PostSinulogThoughts about celebrating the newly-culminated Sinulog 2020 and how did they differentiate it to last year’s.

 

Eva Patalinjug

Eva Psychee Patalinjug, Binibining Pilipinas Grand International 2018 @evapatalinjug

I celebrated my Sinulog with my boyfriend and some of my close friends, we decided to choose a place where it’s not very crowded where we can see the whole Cebu, talk, and chill the night away. We went to Verified Lounge – Cebu’s newest premier sky lounge – located at the rooftop of the Avenir Building. It was something new for me as the night was calm as I was away from the busy streets of Cebu. It’s definitely one way of enjoying such festivities.

 

Kim Covert

Kim Covert @kimcovert

The Sinulog celebration this year has been one of the most memorable events in my life. Not only was I invited to perform a few of my own songs during the weekend’s festivities but I also turned over my Binibining Cebu Tourism crown to my successor. Last year, I was busy with work and was not able to completely grasp the events. This year’s festival was more organized which is a great success for Cebu. Many have flown in and had spent time with their families in the “Pit Senyor” spirit, others have enjoyed spending time off with friends and colleagues. It was a great way for me to start my New Year and close my Cebu chapter before I leave to the US in a week.

 

Alem Garcia

Alem Garcia @thealemgarcia

Well pretty much, I was still busy doing shows and events for Sinulog. But what made it different this year was the religious celebration made me believe even more that Sto. Niño is indeed miraculous and that He is meant to be celebrated. Even though you are successful in your chosen field, furthermore, everything will be meaningless if you do not have the faith.

Philip Pingoy

 

Philip Pingoy @almostablogger

We all have a Sinulog story to tell. It may be a story of losing faith and finding hope. But what is important is our devotion to the Holy Child Jesus (Señor. Sto. Niño). This year, my Sinulog experience was very different since I am already based in the United Kingdom. Thanks to the internet I was still able to watch the mass and all the festivities in Cebu. I am in UK because I prayed to Sto. Niño. So, let us not forget the reason we celebrate Sinulog and let us continue to share to the rest of the world why Sinulog is the grandest festival in the Philippines. Pit Senyor everyone! I hope you had a good one!

 

Lyssa Amor

Lyssa Amor @lyssaamor

Sinulog celebrates Filipinos’ acceptance of Christianity. This year, I celebrated Sinulog by hearing the word of God. I went to church which I do every Sinulog but the difference now is that I am not in Cebu. It’s my first time to celebrate Sinulog away from home because I’m currently in Japan. Although I didn’t dance the traditional Sinulog dance this year, I wasn’t able to watch the fireworks in Ayala, and didn’t spend time with my friends in Mango and IT Park. Snr. Sto. Niño will always be in my heart and I am forever grateful that our ancestors accepted Christianity and we continue to embrace it up until today.

 

Kevin Geniston @kgeniston

Sinulog will always be a highlight for me as a Cebuano. This year has been fulfilling as I was able to brave the crowd in the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu three times to attend the novena mass which had also become like bonding time with my family, daughter, friends and loved ones. I ended the celebration of the Sinulog festivities with a bit of the usual partying and/or clubbing.

Carlo Olano

Carlo Andrew Olano @kalamicebu

My Sinulog this year was a great mix of religious and secular activities. I was able to go to the church and somehow witnessed the Traslacion and the fluvial procession. I also went to many side events like parties, mall events, and fireworks exhibitions. Sinulog 2020 had a fantastic balance of fun, faith, and festivities.

 

Danna Bacolod

Danna Bacolod @dannabacolod

This is the second time I spent Sinulog with Cebu Pacific. We had series of events prepared during its entire week and participated the grand parade by having a float last Sunday. I always feel excited to join Sinulog Grand Parade and see a lot of people celebrating their own way of Sinulog along the streets of Cebu. Guess it’s safe to say that I had so much fun. Even if this was work-related, I didn’t feel like I’m actually working as it was always joyful doing events like these.

 

Nimo Scheming

Nimo Hideki @nimo_scheming

You prolly knew this already but, Sinulog 2020 was by far the most phenomenal Sinulog experience: more laidback than the previous years’. The music in every corner of the streets were still there to help you let loose and enjoy the experience. The surge of people had tested you both mentally and physically. But it was an experience you cannot miss like mingling with people from different walks of life and shouting out “Pit Senyor” to everyone. Summing up my Sinulog experience, I was able to get crazy and enjoy all aspects of the fest.

 

Michael Rey

Michael Rey @michaelsomewhere

I had the most relaxed Sinulog experience this year. I did not party and preferred to witness the grand parade instead. I do think that this year’s celebration was more colorful and much safer as establishments strictly abided the rules imposed by the Cebu City Government. I was also amazed at how the festival of fashion here in Cebu has evolved throughout the years.

Now, how about you? What are your #PostSinulogThoughts this Prititit 2020? Viva Pit Senyor!

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Events

Stellar Set of Music Personalities shine at the First World-class Music Festival in Cebu

British DJ and record producer D.O.D
by Chrissy Grey Resaba

A day before the grandest celebration of Sinulog Festival this new decade of 2020, a line-up of international DJs and local artists are up gathered to perform for the first time this January 17, 2020, at City Di Mare at the South Reclamation Properties.

IV of Spades

Speaking of first, Baladhay is the pioneer music festival in the Queen City of the South that forays top-rate production and technical values. Headlining the event are Spanish house and electro house DJ and producer Danny Avila, British DJ and record producer D.O.D, America EDM, DJ Makasi, and Dutch DJ and record producer duo Blasterjaxx.

Danny Avila

Joining the stellar set of musical personalities are top Manila bands Sandwich and Pedicab which rock music resonates in timelessly. Moreover, hit band IV of Spades are paired together with homegrown Cebuano artists Victor Jao, Gino V, Budoy, Intertwined, Mandaue Nights, Sepia Times, and Route 83.

DJ Makasi

One of the most technically complex setups ever done in Cebu is a combined efforts of Cebu’s Blackstraw Productions and Manila’s Creative Control Group which deserve to get noticed to the global standard levels with its PMX Audio setting up a full-on L Acoustics K2 rig—the preferred brand and model of international artists, bands and DJs. For the lighting, the event is presenting locally available fixtures pre-mapped and programmed weeks before the event with a Chamsys MQ500 Stadium lighting controller. It is also the very first unit in the country that makes a debut in Cebu courtesy of Forerunner Technologies PH Professional.

BlasterJaxx

Timely and relevant to the Sinulog festivity, this musical event is named after the adviser of Rajah Humabon. Baladhay was responsible for inventing the famous Sinulog dance of “two steps forward, one step backward” after he was healed miraculously from severe illness by the most Holy Child Jesus.

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Events

Sinulog 2020: What’s and Where’s?

by Allain Dumon Fonte

Sinulog is always the most awaited festival in the Philippines.  Dating back more than 400 years old, the festivities have shown the best of Cebuano culture and heritage. The Sinulog celebration draw more than 300,000 tourists every year, both pilgrims and spectators.  So, here are a few places to visit and events that should not be missed to make the best of your Sinulog experience.

MAAYO Hotel Cebu

168 Plaridel St, Mandaue City, 6014 Cebu

On the 18th of January, MAAYO Hotel Cebu will host ILLUMINATE; neon lights, great music, and an open bar will be the events’ highlights.  Illuminate will be at the roofdeck pool bar of the MAAYO hotel.  Live bands will be performing all throughout the night.  Never miss out on their world-class sangria, a signature concoction that can only be enjoyed from the MAYO Hotel bar.

Cebu Parklane International Hotel

N. Escario St, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu

The hotel is best known for its warmth hospitality, sumptuous culinary collection, and for its love and promotion of the Cebuano culture.  The Cebu Parklane International Hotel displays an exquisite collection of Santo Niño images by Madam Josie Pereyra.  With some dated back from the 18th century, with over 50 relics and images are displayed at the hotel’s lobby. One of the relics include a century-old Santo Niño from the National Museum.

The hotel also has an exhibition of paintings by Cebu’s renowned artist, Ruel Rosello.  While all of his paintings show Cebuano culture, practices, and traditions, the image of the holy child, the Señor Santo Niño, is the central figure in all of the art pieces.  The exhibition is until the 31st of January.

Seda Ayala Center Cebu

Cardinal Rosales Ave, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu

The new Seda Hotel at the Ayala Center Cebu exhibits masterpieces of international painter, Mr. Cesar Castillo.  The paintings depict the faith and devotion of the Filipinos to the Holy Child Señor Santo Niño.  The hotel lobby is also accented with intricately designed Sinulog costumes by Cebu’s most sought after costume designer, Miss Malayka Yamas.

Il Corso Shopping Center

Cebu South Costal Road Properties

Cebu’s newest shopping destination has prepared an explosive event this Friday.  The Sky Symphony Musical Fireworks: a grand fireworks competition will happen at the IL CORSO Mall bay area on the 17th of January 2020, at 7:00 in the evening.  The grand fireworks competition will have music from Cebu’s best DJ’s and live band performances.

La Plage Pool Club

North Reclamation Area, Mandaue City

The newest lifestyle and pool club in Cebu is hosting the grandest party of the year, Hydro Cebu Music Festival.  La Plage’s grand opening will kick off with the music festival on the 17th of January to the 18th of January.  This is an event that should not be missed as the best DJ’s in Asia gather for this two-day music and dance party.  Music lovers get ready to get wet and wild!

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