While Sinulog is best known for the crazy parties happening on the streets, the locales know there’s more to the festivities. We ask Cebuanos about the different ways one can take part in the celebrations.
THE FLUVIAL PARADE
“If you want to experience and truly understand the essence of the Sinulog celebration, join the fluvial procession. This is when the image of the child Jesus travels on board a galleon to reenact the arrival of the Spaniards and their offering of the image to the natives which began the propagation of the Christian faith. Aside from being able to witness the history of the Sinulog celebration, you will also enjoy the festive spirit of the event through colorful vessel ornaments, drum beats and cheers.
The procession starts at dawn, so you have to wake up as early as 1:00 a.m. Make sure you bring a sweater and a raincoat in case the weather does not cooperate. Pack some light snacks to get you filled, water to keep you hydrated, a good-quality camera to capture the moment, and a lively spirit to enjoy the day.”
Andi Pateña-Matheu, TV Host
The Fluvial Parade will happen on Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 6:00 a.m.. The procession will kick off at the Ouano Wharf in Mandaue City, passing through the old Mactan-Cebu bridge and Pasil before ending at Pier Uno.
SINULOG AT THE GRANDSTAND
“Experiencing Sinulog at the grandstand is generally safe, but limiting. You get to see the awesome performances as opposed to the relatively simple street dances. However, part of the appeal of the Sinulog is to mingle with the crowd and get a little rowdy with friends; that’s not something you can do at the grandstand.
Bring your own stock of food and drink to your seats. While neither is in short supply at the grandstand, buying on the spot will usually require you to get up and go to the food stands, and by the time you get back to your seat, you’ll find it’s no longer your seat. Also, bring binoculars if your seat happens to be at the ends of the grandstand.”
Antonio Java, Head of Editorial Services, Sun.Star Cebu
Purchase your tickets at the Cebu City Sports Center along Jones Avenue, Cebu City. Tickets are at Php 1,000 (Green/Pink), Php 1,200 (Yellow), and Php 2,500 (Blue).
“I would recommend visiting the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño for the Novena Masses. The faith of the people—especially when they sing the hymn Batobalani—is quite heartwarming. Go early in the morning when it isn’t too hot and there’s still a relatively smaller crowd. Wear comfy shoes and bring an umbrella!
Also if you want to see the origins of the traditional “Pit Señor, para kang (name) kini,” song and the Sinulog dance, go there on the last day, around 8 p.m. Witness a very festive culmination to the novena where they dance and sing out that line—finishing off with a spectacular fireworks display.”
Fiona Escandor, Communications Executive, Shangri-la’s Mactan Resort and Spa
The schedule for Novena Masses at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño on January 15 are 5:30 a.m., 7:00 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. On January 16, masses are at 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.
Of course, there’s no stopping anyone from hitting the streets to party. It’s going to be one crazy day, so make sure you live to tell the tale.
“I 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
For a handy guide to Sinulog—everything from religious activities to parties, new media startup Innopub has launched the 2016 Sinulog Guide in partnership with Smart Communications and the Sinulog Foundation.
The guide provides a comprehensive resource on the Sinulog festival, including schedule of processions and novena masses, backgrounder on contingents, and information on the exciting line-up of activities and parties such as the Oh Ship!, Sinulog Invasion, and LifeDance Cebu, which are all co-presented by Smart.
“With the Sinulog Guide app, revelers can plan their itinerary ahead of time so they can maximize their stay in Cebu during one of the country’s most celebrated festivals,” said Smart Public Affairs Group Head Ramon Isberto.
The Sinulog Guide app is available for free on all iOS and Android devices.
Originally published in Zee Lifestyle Directory, December-January 2016 issue. Grab your copies in major hotels, resorts and restaurants.
MORE ABOUT SINULOG ON ZEELIFESTYLE.COM
- Weekend Warplan: The Ultimate Sinulog 2016 Party Guide
- How to look like a rockstar on Sinulog
- How to survive Sinulog like a boss
Featured image by Vincent Gallarde. Other photos from the wires.