Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pit Señor! Sinulog Festival 2011

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I just love going back to Cebu for Sinulog Festival. I love hearing festive drum beats with the sheer sound of the trumpets. The streets are full of peoples and performers.

Sinulog Festival is celebrated in honor of the Holy Child, Sr. Sto. Niño de Cebu. The image was brought to the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan and according to an article I read, it is the only non-marian image in the world to be given a canonical coronation. It was because of the image that the Philippines became Catholic.

The festival is celebrated every third Sunday of January. However, there are a lot of community-led activities before and after the festival. The festival features novena masses, fluvial procession, land procession, and street dance competition.

Patronized by many people, Sinulog was given the "Mother of All Festival" title. Every year, numerous contingents not only from Cebu but also from different part of the Philippines join the festival. The Sinulog dance is known for the two steps forward and one step backward tuned with the Sinulog rhythm (known as the Sinulog-based category). One can easily determine the Sinulog-based contingents for they wear the traditional Filipino attire. However, contingents who want to explore, the free-interpretation category is for them.

Travel and Coverage Tips:
-Be sure to book early (both your accommodation and flights). Airfare 'rocket' at a very high price months before the festival. I always book around October.
-Metered Taxi from the Airport to the city is around P200-P220.
-For those who would like to take photos, you may register at www.sinulog.ph. The price of the photographer's ID is P750.00.
-Fluvial Procession and Foot Procession always happen on the Saturday before the Grand Mardi Gras.
-On the festival day (and Fluvial/Foot Procession), it is hard to get a ride. They close the streets. Piece of advice is to wake up early. In addition, you'll get a good spot.
-Download the schedule of activities and parade/procession route for reference.
-Best spot to take pictures will be at Mango Avenue and at the Strip of Osmeña.

Listen to the Sinulog beat. Press play!

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