It is a cebuano's pride and prestige, Sinulog. Every third Sunday of January, Cebu City Philippines comes to life. It is time once again to bring to the streets our devotion to our blessed Sto. Nino, the miraculous child saint of Cebu.
Early in the morning around 4am, time to get ready. We have rented a spot near Mango Avenue so we can have a better glimpse of the street parade. We had a company sponsor our tent then we rented a sound system as well. Vehicles already have a difficulty passing the streets of Mango Avenue as there are a lot of street dancers preparing to dance the entire day to offer to Sto. Nino. By 9am, the street dancing starts, Cebu is then filled with the sound of the drums while dancers danced on the streets, beautiful floats, giants and cheers from the people.
Actually the celebration is not only a one day affair. It follows a 9 day novena and everyday for 9 days there are activities. The street parade is the conclusion of the entire celebration.
Sinulog is actually a distinguished Cebuano dance step. You will often see this dance step being used by candle sellers in the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, the oldest church in the country and is located in the heart of Cebu City. The dance step imitates the ocean waves, the movement is stepping one foot front, other foot front then previous foot back, together with hand gesture front then back front then back as well as side to side. In this you tube link you will see how the sinulog is danced: Sinulog
It was noted that there was a famine in Cebu before and Reyna Juana, Cebu's queen danced this step holding the statue of Sto. Nino and freed her countrymen from the famine.
Apart from the street celebration, we also have the fluvial parade wherein the Sto Nino will be seen riding on a pump boat, this actually commemorates how Cebuano were able to get hold of Sto. Nino. It was said that the statue was actually brought by Spanish settlers and brought forth the beginning of Christianity in the Philippines.
If you plan on taking part of this celebration, just make sure to book ahead of time because by then all hotels, hostels, even houses or rooms for rent is surely fully booked. I suggest book on hotels near fuente osmena as the street parade will pass through that area.
Picture Courtesy of my officemate, Robert Manatad's http://gallery.sleepingleonhart.org/ under Sinulog 2010