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.
Inside Scoops at Cebu Art Week 2021
By Emcee Go
On a rainy evening last Thursday, the first ever The Visayas Art Fair opened with fanfare, attended by art collectors, political personalities headed by Governor Gwen Garcia and Mayor Mike Rama, and big a crowd of Cebuanos. The well attended 4-day event at the Montebello Hotel was an initiative of the Cebu Design Week (CDW) Inc., in collaboration with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, the Sacred Heart School for Boys Batch 1985 Foundation and the Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation.
A separate hall was created purposely to house art galleries from Cebu, Manila and Bacolod. Qube Gallery headlined with an impressive body of work by Cebuano artist Anton Quisumbing and Sio Montera. Quisumbing, noted for his metallic sculpture of churches, showed his latest collection with flat renditions of his otherwise 3D works, a series of architecturally defined lines that evoke his many churches. On one side of Qube was a booth with paintings done by UP Fine Arts students while on the other side stood a huge painting done by Bacolod-based Charlie Co, titled Lukbo (reportedly priced at 4M). Project Orange, the Bacolod based collective, was well represented, as well as from Manila, among them Metro Gallery where a Dino Gabito painting of a monotone drape was sold early on. Brisk sales were done as art lovers mingled with a surge of curious crowd who were there mainly for their IG feeds.
Across the hall beyond the main driveway, in the central lobby, quietly facing the food stall of Tinderbox and Chocolates, a display wall featuring a Fernando Amorsolo, Martino Abellana and Romulo Galicano stood unguarded behind a large canvas of Ronald Ventura. Collectively, these 4 painting would be the Mona Lisa of the exhibit. The elusive Mr. Ventura famously sold an artwork titled “Party Animal” at Christie’s Live Auction in Hong Kong for a cool 120 million pesos recently.
Late in the afternoon, an open auction of art pieces was going on — with jaw dropping figures of several zeros casually being thrown around, including another Gabito canvas that allegedly banged for 2M. Looking at the auction list, one wag was prompted to comment — I don’t know any of these art collectors, all names with 2 or 3 letters!
Other activities were on hand. The finalists of Miss Cebu 2022 were presented during a fashion show that featured the locally woven hablon creations of Dexter Alazas. Another fashion show by FIDA students got rained on and had to transfer indoors. Both were staged to perhaps attract the otherwise uninclined art audience, a laudable enough reason. Seen downing several goblets of celebratory Moët was CDW’s Butch Carungay, together with Congressman Toff de Venecia who was on hand to talk about his creative industry initiatives in Congress, and Isa Garcia, perhaps eyeing more artwork for her dad Winston Garcia’s old masters.
The last, and best attraction of the Cebu Art Fair, at least in the opinion of this magazine, was the impressive pavilion housing the Tito Cuevas retrospective. The modernist Cebuano artist operated for many decades at his humble home near the Cebu Capitol. Cuevas passed away in 2012. This would be the first time his body of work is displayed, and the scope and breath of his genius is impressive, largely undiscovered except to his avid collectors. In this exhibit, 2 paintings of self portrait was a fun and irreverent play of colors and multiple heads with different expressions, part of the artist collection now belonging to his family. The 36 x 36 canvases are currently priced at P990,000. A large part of the Cuevas exhibit is owned by art-lover Michael Dino and his wife Christine. Dino has been buying the Cuevas for some time, and now his more than 20 artworks anchors this retrospective. “This is his last work and remains unfinished”, Christine Dino explained when asked why the huge splash of orange and yellow canvas was in prominent position.
Michael Dino is in a unique position to pull off this feat. As the Presidential Advisor in Cebu, he has at his disposal the many government agencies needed to help. Add to that his genuine love of collecting art, and access to the city’s only estate hotel, Montebello. “It was a collective effort,” he answered when we congratulated him. “Have you seen the wall of our next project,” he further tells us. This would be CICAD, the exciting new chapter of Michael Dino’s passion with art. But that would have to be another story.
A Tale of Two Queens
Cebu’s Conquest to the Universe
By Allain Dumon Fonte
There are only two worldwide events that could stop traffic in the entire country. First is a Pacquaio boxing match, the second is when a Filipina outshines other ladies in the Miss Universe pageant. The Miss Universe beauty pageant is one of the longest running and most prestigious beauty pageant. The Philippine candidates are to look forward to because for the past 10 years, our representatives always make it to the cut; not to mention winning 2 crowns in the last decade.
However, in the long history of the pageant, there were only 2 Cebuanas that represented the Philippines. The veteran and multi-awarded actress Pilar Delilah Veloso Pilapil-Penas, from Lilo-an, Cebu, represented the Philippines in the 1967 Miss Universe.
And in the 2019 Miss Universe pageant, the Philippines was represented by supermodel Gazini Christiana Jordi Acopiado Ganados, from Talisay City, Cebu; where she was a Top 20 finalist, and she bagged the “Best in National Costume” award. Her national costume was designed by Cebuana primier créature de mode, Cary Santiago.
Will a Cebuana represent the Philippines this year? Today, the 30th of September 2021, in Panglao Island, Bohol, a Filipina will be crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2021 and she shall represent our nation in Israel. Almost all pageant enthusiasts and pageant fans have set their eyes on the two Cebuanas in the pageant. One was widely talked about with her fierce runway challenge, while the other one was greatly applauded with her heart-warming and witty self-introduction. And after the preliminary pageant last Sunday, everyone is now confused who to put their bets on. One made waves as she struts in her swimwear, while the other one raised the bar higher as she promoted the rattan crafts by wearing it as her national costume. So, who are these Cebuanas that the entire nation is crazy about?
Steffi Rose Pearson Aberasturi is representing the Province of Cebu, while Beatrice “Bea” Luigi Gomez represents Cebu City. Both Steffi and Bea are front runners in this year’s pageant. And with their participation, the Miss Universe Philippines pageant is getting more exciting for the Cebuanos. Although, the two ladies are queens in their own rights because both have been crowned and have won major pageant events, they still have not escaped the scrutiny of this author. I have consistently followed both ladies as they submitted their entries for the virtual challenges assigned to them by the MUP organization, and here is what I have to say.
First, beauty pageants now are neither looking for another pretty face, nor another witty woman, not even the next runway model. Beauty pageants are now the venues of empowered women to express their thoughts freely while motivating other young women and girls. They only do not represent their cities, but they also become the ambassadors of trade and goodwill, introducing their cities to the world. Hence, for the Runway Challenge, I rated Steffi 9/10. The over-all runway challenge video is almost perfect. It showcased one of the achievements of the “Build, Build, Build” program of the government while giving a majestic view of the Cebu-Mactan Channel. Steffi flawlessly floats on her every step at the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway. It was a very well-thought production, but mostly, well-implemented by showing to the world that Cebu Province is at par to the world’s most advanced places in technology and development.
Second, beauty pageants are looking for woman of substance who has a sense of leadership and can motivate and empower other young women. For this category, I am giving Bea 10/10. Her self-introduction video is so natural and honest. It showcased her genuine commitment to serve others as a Philippine navy reserved officer and in participating in adrenaline-raising sports for the benefit of disadvantaged children. Bea also showcased her passion for extreme sports, showing that beautiful women are not only good with stiletto heels but are also up for a challenge in boxing and diving.
Third, the MUP needs someone who can speak and is confident. A beauty queen will use her voice to amplify the voices of those who do not have the opportunity to speak for themselves. Basing on the preliminary interviews of the two ladies, I am giving Bea 6/10. Her answers are correct but too safe that they are underwhelming and does not appeal strongly to the audience. Steffi, on the other hand, stood very confident and charming during the interview and I am giving her a score of 8/10. Steffi’s answers did not really hit the marks, her arguments are not that strong, but her confidence in her answers and in herself makes her responses convincing to those who are listening.
Lastly, as Miss Universe, you become an ambassador of the organization and of your country. Therefore, you need to be your best, always, and you need to be able to carry yourself with pride. This means, that when you enter a crowded room, you will be able to get everybody’s attention; and when you walk, you make heads turn in your every step. For this criterion, I am scoring Bea 9/10 because of her formidable performance in the preliminary swimsuit and evening gown competition. The last time I got so excited for a pageant was when Janine Tugonon made that iconic turn and pose at the 2012 Miss Universe evening gown competition. After seeing how Bea owned the runway in her swimwear performance, I am seeing another Janine Tugonon in the making! However, Steffi is not that far behind. Steffis’ charm and grace made her look regal in her evening gown. But, I must say that she was just too sweet for the swimwear competition, she must bring back that fierce walk in the runway challenge for the swimwear competition.
Both Bea and Steffi are already making the Cebuanos proud. Both of them are the crowd’s favorites, and we wish them the best for tonight’s Miss Universe Philippines grand coronation night. The MUP coronation event will be streaming live at Iconique Mall’s roof deck dining area. Show your support to these Cebuanas and don’t miss to watch the Miss Universe Philippines 2021.
Who Really is Miss Cebu?
Cebu City Tourism Commission Relaunches Miss Cebu
By Allain Dumon Fonte
Like a phoenix that resurrects from the ashes, so shall Miss Cebu 2022 blooms to a new dawn in the Queen City of the South. After 5 years of hiatus and whispered controversies that surround it, the Cebu City Tourism Commission is relaunching the search for Miss Cebu. Now is truly the high time that Cebu City must crown her new queen to bring back the spirit of pride amongst Cebuanos; and to have a queen to lead us in rekindling our passion to make Cebu City number one, again.
Miss Cebu was officially relaunched on the 16th of September 2021 at IL CORSO Mall at the South Road Properties; headed by Cebu City Tourism Commissioners, Hon. Philip Rodriguez and Hon. Cinbeth Orellano, and pageant director, Engr. Junget Primor. The launching was attended by Miss Cebu past winners, Cebu’s celebrated couturiers: Dexter Alazas, Edwin Ao, Jun Escario, and Jun Protacio; and celebrating with them are the ladies and gentlemen of the media and of the Cebu City Tourism Commission Office.
In the age of industrialization, the countries in the Asia Pacific region were coping with globalization and international trade. The Philippines is on a strategical advantage being the gateway to the East; and made Cebu as the Queen City of the South for her central location. Gifted with pristine beaches, abundant highlands, developing urban lifestyle, rich heritage, and friendly and skilled people, Cebu became an incomparable jewel for many investors. So in1983, some leaders and a few stakeholders from the Hotels, Resorts, and Restaurants Association of Cebu blessed with foresight, took advantage of the opportunities, and promoted Cebu as a travel and holiday destination; rebranding Cebu as an “Island in the Pacific”. Hence, the birth of Miss Cebu Tourism in 1984.
The Miss Cebu Tourism became an avenue to search for a Cebuana who shall embody the characteristics of Cebuanos and promote the tourism landmarks of the region. The Miss Cebu Tourism ran from 1984 to 1999 and has produced beauty queens that effectively promoted Cebu to the world. Because of this, Cebu was featured countless times in international travel magazines like “The Voyager”, “Adventure Travels”, “The Traveller”, “Explore”, and “Getaway”. The pageant has also helped in establishing strong international relations with Japan. This is the period when Japanese employees were reinforced with travel incentives. Through the promotions of Miss Cebu Tourism, Cebu became one of the destinations for the Japanese’ travel incentives; and this paved way for direct flights to Cebu from Narita and from Osaka.
Miss Cebu Tourism also paved way for direct flights from Hong Kong; and also from Singapore. Miss Cebu Tourism winners promoted Cebu’s landmarks, culture, arts, and crafts through a series of fashion shows and cultural trade and events in Singapore that stirred the interest of the tourists and investors alike. Hence, Cebu City also became a venue of trade and commerce with Singapore in the mid-1980’s.
In 2001, Miss Cebu Tourism evolved to Miss Cebu with the aim of promoting not only our tourism but also the city’s economic strengths, making Cebu as the new business hub in Asia. From the years 2001 to 2016, Miss Cebu queens have successfully put Cebu on the globe as an industrial, trade, and tourism leader in the Southeast Asian region. The pageant showcased the best of Cebu that intrigued numerous tourists, investors, and even global leaders to visit this small but bustling metropolis.
Miss Cebu… Now!
In the past decade, Miss Cebu also became a platform for the candidates to be the voice for the voiceless. Candidates do not only promote Cebu; the pageant also became a stage to discuss current events and promote advocacies in uplifting the lives of Cebuanos; to ensure their welfare, to promote equality, and to implement social policies. Through the years, Miss Cebu has elevated the standards of beauty pageants in the country and is even admired by international pageant enthusiasts. It has gathered a pool of ladies with intellect, integrity, and with substance to lead the Cebuanos to a new era of empowered women and with a more inclusive society. Miss Cebu has redefined the essence of femininity with the sense of style and leadership. Because of this, Miss Cebu has produced women who are leaders in their fields; from lawyers, doctors, public servants, tourism directors, industry managers, entrepreneurs, and even business leaders.
In 2019 up to the present, the corona virus pandemic has impacted all the economic sectors in Cebu, from the tourism industry to real estate, arts, fashion, manufacturing, business process outsourcing, food, travel, and retail industries. It is high time that Cebu must stand again on its feet and bring back its glory. Thus, the intense clamor to bring back Miss Cebu. Miss Cebu is no longer a mere beauty pageant; it is a wheel of development and a catalyst of economic advancement through its promotions of what the Queen City of the South can offer to the world. In the past, Miss Cebu winners and candidates worked tirelessly as our ambassadors and brought us to a dawn of progress, and they shall do the same in this most challenging time.
Who really is Miss Cebu?
The year 2022 is the rebirth of Miss Cebu. Miss Cebu’s candidates shall represent not only the tourism and the economy of the city; but they shall bring to the world our pride from the city’s crystal coastlines, lush hills, world-class urban living, deep history and rich heritage, exquisite delicacies, ecstatic festivals, thriving industries, skilled craftsmen, and esthetic arts; making Cebu as a UNESCO City of Designs. Our candidates shall be forward-thinking and strong-willed leaders who are empathic to the needs of her fellow Cebuanos, motivating the younger generation. And our Miss Cebu candidates will instill pride amongst Cebuanos with our roots and our identity as descendants of Rajah Daya, Datu Humabon, and Hari Lapu-Lapu; making us proud as people with unparalleled civilization enriched by colorful cultures and unequalled artistry. This shall be a quest not only for the most beautiful Cebuana, but a search for Cebuanas who can support and promote sustainable livelihood and lifestyle; and finally, to raise the bar higher for pageantry by producing women that can shape a society, that can bring the world to Cebu, and that can redefine the meaning of women empowerment.
So, who is really Miss Cebu? It can be you. The search for Miss Cebu 2022 is now on-going. If you believe that you are the woman that Cebu City needs, then please, present yourself and take the Cebuanos with you to a future of certainties, progress, and peace.
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