Sinulog Festival is one of the most colorful, popular and grandest festivals in the country. Held annually in Cebu every third Sunday of January, the festival is all about the celebrated devotion to the child Jesus, the Sto. Niňo. This is a celebration that gave Cebuanos and Cebu its own cumulative identity and culture.
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“Sinulog” comes from the Cebuano word “sulog”, an adverb that actually means “like water current movement”. It describes the dance movement of the festival: two steps forward and one step backwards, accompanied by the sound of the drums. It is a ritual prayer-dance performed merrily by the revelers, all dressed in bright, colorful costumes. Essentially, the dance ritual is a reminder of the Filipinos’ pagan past and their acceptance of Christianity.
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For 39 years now, the simple Sinulog parade organized by then Regional Director of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development Mr. David Odilao, Jr. back in 1980, evolved and has since become one of the Philippines’ best known festivals. Sinulog unfolds for nine dynamic days where attendees usually number to more than a million. It culminates on the 9th day, with the Sinulog Grand Parade as the main event. Did you know that this grand parade is broadcast live in different countries and streamed online? Yes, that’s how popular Sinulog Festival is! It’s no wonder that crowds swell year after year to see and be a part of this revelry. Another thing to note: the word “Sinulog” and its logo is patented and registered in the Intellectual Property Office, the first-ever such application granted for a festival.
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This most anticipated cultural event in the Queen City of the South has been commercialized as a tourist attraction, with a variety of contest categories being instituted such as the Search for the Festival Queen, Sinulog Short Film Festivals, Photo Contest, to name a few. Dominating the streets of Cebu City during Sinulog are countless street food vendors, souvenir stalls and street parties breaking out everywhere. Of course, fireworks displays light up the night sky, adding more to the festive vibe. Indeed, Sinulog Festival has all the ingredients for an amazing experience in merrymaking!
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And so we say, Viva Pit Senyor!
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