The Sinulog Festival 2014
Last January, I was in the Philippines, particularly in the beautiful Island of Cebu participating in this year’s Sinulog Festival. I have heard of the Sinulog Festival way back in 2012 and I was able to personally experience it as a tourist during that time. I was so enamored of the vibrancy and the energy of the Sinulog Festival so much so that I came back in 2013, but this time, I was fortunate to secure a VIP Pass from the Mayor’s Office. I was officially asked to cover the awarding ceremonies held at the Cebu City Sports Center. This year, once again I was able to get a Media pass from the Office of Mayor Michael Rama and in addition to covering the awarding ceremonies, I was also asked to cover the Grand Parade itself. I had so much fun covering the Sinulog Festival activities that I’ve decided to start a new photography tour to cover the Sinulog Festival starting in 2015. Here’s a brief background on the Sinulog Festival.
The origins of the Sinulog Festival
Like most festivals in the Philippines, the Sinulog Festival is celebrated in honor of the Santo Nino, or the Child Jesus while commemorating the Filipinos Pagan origin and their transition to Roman Catholicism. However, it is believed that even before the Spaniards came to Cebu and converted the natives to Catholicism, they were already performing this dance ritual to their pagan gods, called anitos. The relic of the Santo Nino and its symbolism was given as a token by the Spaniards when they first arrived and since then, the Santo Nino has become part of the Sinulog dance ritual, thereby cementing the connection between the pagan gods and Catholicism.
The term “Sinulog” is believed to come from the native word “sulog” which represents the flow of the current of the Pahina River. It is danced to the beat of drums, usually with the accompaniment of gongs and trumpets. The dance itself involves 2 steps forward and one step back much like how a wave on a river moves.
The first Sinulog Street Parade was organized by Mr. David Odilao, Jr., of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, in 1980. It was participated in by several schools in the region and the experiment was such a success that it also caught the attention of the powers that be in Cebu City that decided to turn the Sinulog Street parade into a major festival to rival the other ongoing festivals in the country. Thus, the SInulog Festival in Cebu City was born.
What to Expect
Over the years, the organizers of the Sinulog Festival have challenged themselves to deliver better and more exciting festivals. This 2014, the Sinulog Festival celebration covered almost 2 months of activities. Here is a list of the highlights of the 2014 Sinulog Festival:
- Sinulog 2013 Photo Exhibit
- Sinulog sa Kabataan (Sinulog for the Youth)
- Nightly Cultural Shows
- Fluvial and Solemn Procession
- Sinulog Photo Contest
- Sinulog Grand Parade
Check out some of the images I have taken below and if you are interested to join the photography tour in Jan 2015, please drop us an email at email@example.com