Suspension of Disbelief

Sinulog festival: one beat, one dance, one vision

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Yahoo Philippines and VERA Files / 011412



Tomorrow, January 15, the main streets of Cebu City will reverberate to the sound of revelry as residents and visitors  dance in the grand parade of the Sinulog festival.

The Sinulog festival is the most awaited event in Southern part of the Philippines that is held annually in the city of Cebu. The celebration pays tribute to the Cebuano’s acceptance of Roman Catholicism and to honor the Santo Niño.

Sinulog comes from the Cebuano word that means, “like water current movement”, the term describes the forward and backward movement of the Sinulog dance.

The festival features a street parade with participants in attractive, colored costumes and props dancing to the eclectic beat of the Sinulog theme.

The Sinulog Festival started in 1980 organized by the government of Cebu City to attract more tourists. The first Sinulog parade was composed of students dressed as Moros accompanied by the festive street drums, dancing the “Sinulog”. Today, contingents come from different parts of the Philippines, not only to perform and compete for the top prize but also to honor and show their gratitude to the Santo Niño.

Tourists from all over the country and visiting foreigners, gather along the stretch of Fuente Osmeña, the middle of Cebu City, to witness the parade contingents dance their way to Cebu City Sports Complex where the main judging is usually held.

Sinulog festival runs from December 1 until the end of January. The best time for a tourist, or a first-timer in Cebu to visit the Queen City, is towards the third week of January, where the activities are back-to-back; from the cultural shows, processions, the Sinulog festival queen competition, fireworks, mardi gras and of course, the grand parade.

One of the festival highlights is the Sinulog Festival Queen.

Sporting her Santo Niño inspired gown, this year’s winner is Apriel D. Smith from Cebu City, she was chosen as the Sinulog festival Queen over the 13 other candidates. She also won several awards; Miss PLDT, Best Sinulog festival Costume, Best Costume and Best Costume Performer. She took home P50,000 for winning the title.

And on the third Sunday of January, the Grand Sinulog Parade will dominate the streets of Cebu. The breathtaking floats, colorful and intricate costumes will fill the crowded streets. The parade contingents will give a world-class performance in the streets and in the complex that will leave each expectator wanting for more.

And last year’s winner was Tribu Sinanduloy of Tangub City who won Grand Champion in the Sinulog based Category, best in Street Dancing and best in Musicality.


(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”)


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