The weekend 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.
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 he landed in Cebu in 1521. It’s 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.
The Sinulog festivities begin with a nine-day novena before its culmination of the grand parade on the third Sunday of January. Before the weekend, it has become tradition for the image of the Santo Niño to be brought to His parents. On Friday, He’s first brought to the St. Joseph Parish in Mandaue, where He spends the night as devotees hold vigil. Come dawn, the image is then brought by boat through the Mactan Channel to visit the Virgen dela Regla or the Virgin of the Rule. By the time the sun is up, a fleet of colorful bots join the Santo Niño in its journey back to Cebu City for the reenactment of the Cebuano’s acceptance of Christianity from the Spanish. At sundown, a solemn procession is held throughout the city’s main roads, where the large crowd can number in millions as they walk with the Santo Niño as it returns to the Basilica. On Sunday, the crowd goes into a more festive mood, with the grand parade of floats and dancers through the city’s main roads. Contingents from around the island and neighboring provinces make their way through the streets and into the Cebu City Sports Complex to show off their choreographed presentations. Outside, revelers celebrate throughout the afternoon, dancing alongside performers while done up in face paint and feathered accessories. The day ends with elaborate fireworks displays throughout the city, while the crowd continues to party well into the night.
When it comes to Sinulog, Cebuanos know what they’re talking about. We round up some friends and ask them: “What advice would you give Sinulog virgins on how to enjoy and survive the weekend?”
MIA ARCENAS (@miaccake)
Put face paint on. That way, people with paint on the street—like my friends— won’t find it tempting to smother your clean face with paint. And live in the moment. Let loose and have fun!
CHERYL PAGES-ALBA (@peonyalba)
Make sure you’re not too drunk that you don’t know where you are the next morning!
MIKEY SANCHEZ (@iammikeysanchez)
Bring ziplock bags to put your gadgets in if you don’t have waterproof casing, and bring money in small denominations. Hydrate(with water!) in between shots, and head to Century Plaza for the best street parties and the friendliest drunk people!
DOYZKIE BUENAVIAJE (@doyzkie)
Hydrate and fuel up on food! You don’t want to run low on energy while enjoying the festivities, which whisks from morning until the next day.
SIAN MAYNARD (@sianemaynard)
Comfy footwear is a must to get through the streets that are blocked off, and a bottle of water to keep you hydrated after an afternoon partying under the sun.
St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Marco Polo Plaza
Marco Polo Plaza will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Festival with the rest of the Irish community! It’s not only a feast of greens and four-leaf clovers but of good food too! From March 17 to 19, dig in and enjoy traditional Irish dishes and delights such as Irish Stew, Potato Nachos, Cheesy Reuben Loaf, Guinness Beef Stew Pot Pie, Beer Mac N’ Cheese and many more. These on top of the international lunch and dinner buffet at Cafe Marco. Complete the experience in true Irish fashion with an ice-cold mug of Irish Beer, also available at Cafe Marco.
Gastronomic adventures await at Café Marco! For inquiries and reservations, you can call (032) 253-1111. For real time updates, like the Facebook page at facebook.com/marcopolocebu or follow on Twitter at @5StarInCebu. Visit the website at www.marcopolohotels.com.
For inquiries and reservations, call 253-1111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
La Liga Henerales: Shaping History Awareness Back Again in Cebu
La Liga Henerales is a community of young talents passionately promotes historical awareness through periodic costumes carefully researched for its authenticity and accuracy and promoted as well in events and schools.
Only few individuals before were into pursuit in this historical awareness project until the age of communication where internet is convenient in the palm of our hands through our gadgets. New information travel fast and data is retrievable, yet also possess a disadvantage with the plethora of different social media platforms carried by various makers as well. In a daily basis, historical backgrounds are unearthed making its trend until now as new discoveries are released, but the idea of these information being shown and shared is as close as not valuing or commemorating to its sources leaving this information just a trend.
There is a certain community of Cebuanos that are taking a quest to rewrite and restructure what was in the past, filling the gaps in facts with further research of variable sources that are made debatable but sticks to it true cause, to unveil the truths of our heritage and our origins, as Cebuanos and as Filipinos as well.
La Liga Henerales is a Cebu-based, non-profit organization composed of a group of talented, committed and respectable individuals from different walks of life, schools and profession whose primary aim is to promote both, Cebuano and filipino culture and heritage that was depicted before in pre-colonial and colonial eras via re-enactment with costumes vested in proper research and investigation to achieve authenticity. They also push their cause on schools and other social gatherings promoting and spreading awareness about our local, and national heroes that we look up to. With these said, they also portray a closer look of the lifestyle of the past to where they perform stories, perform forgotten dances and rituals and portray their individual roles, vital in the fight of our country’s future during those challenging times, and in honor to spread awareness of the lost practices we had in those times.
Louis Kenneth Villaflor, an entrepreneur and an avid history enthusiast and costumer, founded the group on the purpose of re-educating the youth about real local and national history, he saw the opportunity to combine his favourite hobbies which is costuming and story role-playing and the process to instill the historical awareness and value among the youth and in schools, along with a group of fellow enthusiasts who shares his passion about research and history, they took it among themselves to be purposeful in the advocacy in spreading historical awareness in schools or events by wearing periodically correct costumes and sharing the stories and its value to the youth.
Behind the Garments
Meet Rodney “Pee-Wee” Senining, who has been in the fashion industry since the late 90’s, strives in concepts of avant-garde, innovation and cutting edge-fashion forward design. And also a teacher of Architecture, Fine Arts and Design of University of San Carlos, he had grown into research of books like the holy grail in the Library Resource Center and is always fascinated of the periodical times and how to preserve it; Hence, his interest had grown for the affinity of Periodical Costumes and Sustainable Fashion.
Being part of the group La Liga Henerales, he was tasked to instantly be their mentor for the young talents and as the organization is still new and developing with limited funds, resourcefulness and research were done to come up with a good output of photo shoot and was quite proud of it and still promise on the next editions of pieces to be more historically accurate. Even as teacher for Fashion Design in SAFAD, his expertise comes hand in hand with the members as he helps them do research as well. His passion and interest somehow led him with enough knowledge to key the insights of the significant periods and historical backgrounds of it.
Historical Awareness in Cebu
The strength and progress of a country is anchored on how well they know and honor its history. The means of historical awareness in Cebu is almost non-existent among the Cebuanos, although we push forward in tourism and promote beauty through sceneries and other aspects of culture yet never commemorate deeply on historical icons such as our other local heroes, and ancient cultures as well that is almost been forgotten in an urban Cebu. Nevertheless, as long as communities’ like La Liga Henerales are now evolving in a learning state by real discovery by multiple resources, this will always reflect of how we appreciate love, patriotism and honor to our country and would look forward to progress.