Sinulog Festival in Cebu Philippines
- It is being held annually every third Sunday of January in Cebu, Philippines to honor the patron saint Seńor Santo Nińo de Cebu (Lord Holy Child of Cebu) and the arrival of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the Philippines.
- Cebu is in the Central Visayas (Region VII) in the Philippines and is founded on April 27, 1565. The capital is Cebu City. Cebu has a Roman Catholic Archdiocese, and has numerous historical churches, including the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, the San Carlos Church, the Santo Rosario Parish Church, San José-Recoletos Church, and Sacred Heart Church as well as several other non-Catholic churches, mosques, and temples.
- Part of the tradition is a fluvial parade where the image of the Child Jesus will be leaving His home in the Basilica del Sto. Niño and will be paraded to His foster father in the St. Joseph Parish in Mandaue City. The Niño stays with His father for a day and a night. After the overnight stay with His father, He will be voyaging His way to His mother in a nearby island in Lapu-Lapu. The ceremonies in Cebu begin with this early morning fluvial procession, reenacting the coming of the Spaniards.
The Holy Child Jesus is usually kept in a glass case bedecked with blossoming flowers, which will be carried by a “galleon” towards His destination. The procession ends at the Basilica where a re-enactment of the Christianizing of Cebu is performed.
- Sinulog is essentially a dance ritual which remembers the Filipino pagan past and their acceptance of Christianity. The word Sinulog comes from the Cebuano adverb “sulog” which means “like water current movement;” it describes the forward-backward movement of the Sinulog dance. The dance consists of two steps forward and one step backward, done to the sound of drums. The festival features some the country’s most colorful displays of pomp and pageantry. The participants garbed in bright-colored costumes dance to the rhythm of drums, trumpets, and native gongs.
- The event has become a tourist attraction.
The photos above are taken from the actual parade of this year’s Sinulog Festival. I took these photos along Mango Avenue in Cebu where the grand Sinulog parade is passing. I took more than 200 photos of this event and it can be viewed from here.