The Sinulog Legacy

The Sinulog festival was initiated by the government to pay homage to a pagan ritual being done by Cebuanos, then and now, as a way of worshiping and praying for the intercession of Santo Niño de Cebú. Yet where did the dance that sparked the largest festival in the country today started? Two steps forward and one step backward, imitating the sulog or waves while waving a candle or an image of the Santo Niño. An ancient pagan ritual merged with Catholic beliefs—a form of syncretic Filipino folk Catholicism.

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Dancing in the Rain: My Personal Sinúlog Experience (Part 1)

All throughout the week before Sinulog in Cebu, I was already checking the weather forecast. It has been raining in Cebu for the past few days and I was worried that it’ll rain come Sunday Sinulog. 16th of January came, I lost my wallet in the cab at Makati while I’m on my way to the airport (good thing I have friends who helped me at this desperate time) and I am sleepless too. Nevertheless, it has been several years since I last went to Cebu to celebrate this annual celebration for the Visayas’ most well-loved Catholic icon, the Santo Niño de Cebú and the grandest festival in all of República Filipinas, the Sinulog Festival of Cebú.

Sleepless and haggard, I took the first flight of Philippine Airlines bound for Cebu. Upon approach, I was aghast with the sky…gray, hints of lightning…urgh! Rainy!!! Then shifted to a more positive tone, it’s a great blessing from the Creator. Reverse psychology did worked!

Continue reading Dancing in the Rain: My Personal Sinúlog Experience (Part 1)

The First Día Del Galeón Opens in Manila

Nao Victoria - Spanish Galleon Replica to Dock at Manila on Oct 5

After two centuries of almost left in the oblivion of time, the journey of thousands of miles that initiated the modern trans-Pacific trade, has been celebrated. Manila, the first ASEAN cultural capital, opened the 1st Día Del Galeón Festival (Day of the Galleon) on 24th of September, 2010. The said festival will go on all the way to the 8th of October, 2010 with the theme “Connecting Continents.” With cultural presentations, academic conferences and the revisiting of a replica of the Spanish galleon, the event was organized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Instituto Cervantes, the Embassies of Spain and Mexico, and all other non-government organizations, and members of the academe and the Philippine government—rekindling the once (almost) lost connection between Philippines, Mexico, Spain and the rest of Asia in two centuries of treacherous journeys across the Pacific, that changed the course of world history.

Continue reading The First Día Del Galeón Opens in Manila

The Musicality, Choreography and Costume of Sinulog, Ati-Atihan and Dinagyang

Eversince I settled in the Visayas, I was exposed to these big festivals that the Visayans are very proud of. Reflecting its laid back yet devoted populace, the January festivities attract spectators by the millions…all in the name of Señor Santo Niño or the Holy Christ Child. Here’s the thing though on what I’ve observed on these big Santo Niño festivals when it comes to musicality, costumes and choreography. Each of them, unique in a way…well, in my observation.
Continue reading The Musicality, Choreography and Costume of Sinulog, Ati-Atihan and Dinagyang

Sail Away! Riding with the Habagat Waves of Mactan and Olango Cebu

Rough Waters of Hilutangan Channel, Cebu during Habagat Season

Rough Waters of Hilutangan Channel, Cebu during Habagat Season

It was definitely my first boat ride in Cebu and my first time meeting some strangers that would become my ultimate barkada in the Queen City. A balikbayan forumer came home and promised a treat that the forumers based in Cebu would never forget. Island hopping from Mactan Island to Olango Island and back and hitting the big waves of the southerly wind also known in the Philippines as habagat.

It was three years ago. Continue reading Sail Away! Riding with the Habagat Waves of Mactan and Olango Cebu

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