SINULOG FESTIVAL A WEEK-LONG CELEBRATION IN CEBU

Quick guide to Cebu’s Sinulog Festival weekend celebration

 

I would have never been more inspired to share my Sinulog experience if I haven’t participated in this year’s weekend celebration in Cebu.

Christmas season in Cebu doesn’t end in December. The revelry and merrymaking continues in January or until Sinulog festival ends, third week of the first month of the new year. For this year, the Grand Parade was held on January 17, Sunday.

What is Sinulog?

Sinulog celebrates the feast of Sto. Niño ‘Viva Pit Senyor’ with week-long festivity including a showcase of parade of competing cultural dances.

VIVA PIT SENYOR
VIVA PIT SENYOR

The grand fluvial procession parades in different locations that is significant to the Sto. Niño.

What does Viva Pit Senyor means?

Aside from the religious part and various cultural performances, all roads leading to the city proper are filled with revelers and street parties are everywhere. You will notice that all throughout the celebration, people are shouting ‘Viva Pit Senyor’ or ‘Viva Pit Senyor’ which means to ‘call upon Senior Sto. Nino’. Vehicles would have a hard time traversing routes to the city during Sinulog fest.

What to expect?

Exclusive parties like LifeDance, Innovation, and the newly introduced Plus63 make the lineup this year complete for local residents and guest of the province to enjoy the Sinulog weekend celebration.

How Far from Ayala Center to Fuente Osmena Circle?

It was an exciting weekend as I joined the walk from Ayala Center down to Fuente Osmena Circle together with friends here in Cebu who welcomed me during my 4 day visit. We walked for almost 2 hours to the circle braving the sea of revelers who will either greet you ‘Pit Senyor’ or playfully put more face paint in different parts of your body. This is a tradition that has been going on for a long time. There’s no room for ‘pikon’ and everyone are just enjoying the fun part of this festival.

What clothes should you wear?

I was also reminded of wearing light and comfortable clothes that should be disposable. If you’re new to Sinulog, don’t question your friends if they tell you this, just follow their advise.

Preparation

Walking full straight hours from Ayala Center up to Fuente Osmena Circle is not an easy task for people who aren’t prepared physically and mentally.  Although it will only take around 10-20 minutes if you’re traveling by wheels, it’s much different when you travel by foot. Make sure to finish your meal in the morning or lunch before you set this adventure.

And because parties are left and right, make sure you have enough sleep the day before your Sinulog walk.

Should you bring gadgets like camera and smartphone?

Gadgets like cameras and phones are okay to bring with but if they’re not waterproof, put them in safe casing that will protect them from anything that might damage your gadgets.

Go light

It’s much better if you go light, no backpacks. Sling bags will do.

Safety

There are minor mischief that is reported during the festival and for your safety and protection, always mind for your belongings and be with the right people all the time. I saw police officers around the area and it’s a good sign that they are in for the safety of the crowd.

Incidents like getting lost in your way happens so you better familiarize yourself first with the directions or walk in a straight line with your friends so you won’t get separated from them.

Pit stops

Pit stops may take place near Fuente Osmena Circle where you can watch the grand parade in the afternoon until the evening. There are a lot of food chains and restaurants where you can eat together with your friends. Or dip your bare hands on puso aka hanging rice and pork barbecue at the circle or at Larsian, a barbecue strip joint near the area.

There are plenty of things to do while you’re at the area and if you feel like you need to go back from where you’ve started, the adventure is still not yet over.

Sinulog Festival

Overall, it was a great and fun experience. Immersing with the locals through Sinulog festival was a treat that every traveler should experience, even just for once.

It’s crazy, wild, fun, and colorful. The best way to start my travel adventures for the new year! Thanks to my Cebuano friends who showed me the greatness of the Sinulog Festival 2016.

Cost?

Trip from Manila to Cebu and participate the Sinulog celebration, priceless.

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