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The Sinulog Experience

“The thing about Sinulog is that it’s a symbolic form of the Cebuano cultural identity. It’s a multi sensory experience that communicates to people on so many different levels.” -Mikel Rama

MIKEL RAMA, Attorney

The thing about Sinulog is that it’s a symbolic form of the Cebuano cultural identity. It’s a multi sensory experience that communicates to people on so many different levels. For me what’s special about it is the unique sense of collectiveness and community that it represents in that for a time every year we cease to be separate individuals, we instead become part and parcel of something larger than ourselves and dance to only one beat.

There is a moment during the Grand Fiesta Mass at the Basilica Del Santo Niño at the dawn of Sinulog day when the crowd sings the chorus to the song, “Batobalani sa gugma”—translated as lodestone of love and a celebratory expression of the Christian faith. Balloons fly to the heavens carrying each individual’s petition prayers tied on their strings. The crowd sings as one voice with one hope and in one faith. That is Sinulog.

SIAN MAYNARD, Miss Cebu 2008 and Host

For the past three years, I’ve had to get up at 5 AM to get to the Grand Stand in order to cover the Sinulog contingents — and I can easily say that walking at 5:30 in the morning from the Fuente roundabout to the colliseum and seeing whole families already setting up for the day is easily one of the most moving things for me during Sinulog. To know that these families are willing to endure extreme heat or heavy rain not to mention the usual crush of people is something pretty humbling for me.

Sinulog is practically one of the biggest highlights of the year for me and something I can never stop being proud of. Not only does it bring everyone from all over the world to come and witness our Senor Santo Nino but one of my favorite parts of it is watching fellow Cebuanos come together to come up with such a production—and to do so with pride.

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