Sinulog Fiesta: A dance festival for the king
The Philippines have a lot of fiestas all over its archipelago. And among all those fiestas, the Cebuano fiesta on the first month of the year triumphs above all. The one called the Sinulog Festival.
The Sinulog, as known by the Cebuanos, started way back to the time of the Spanish occupation. It was around a few years after Magellan arrived. And Christianity has begun spreading throughout the country. An image of a child saint from the Spaniard's possession got lost.
When a fire burned down a village of the occupants of Cebu, the lost image was found in a chest, unscathed. The Image was the model of the child Jesus. Since then, Cebuanos began worshiping the image. They performed a dance that follows the current of Pahina River of Cebu.
The locals perform the dance ritual in honor of the Idol that became a Cebuano tradition. But what can pique any person's interest in knowing this fact is how the waves influenced this dance.
The Sinulog Rhythm and Dances
Filipinos have dances based on natural occurrences like waves and rain and planting. But the Sinulog dance has been iconic. It is because of the many variations that the dance have developed. And even with such modifications the dance still stays the same.
The rhythm of the drums, the fancy decors of the dancer's costumes stays the same, and the image of the saint held high in the dance as if it were floating. It also symbolizes the trip that the Image has to do to reach his parents separated by the Mactan Channel.
The Sinulog Fluvial Parade
The festival starts with the fluvial parade of the image from his home in the Santo Niño Basilica. He then travels to his mother, the Virgin of the Rule or Birhen de la Regla in Lapu-Lapu City. And he goes to his father, Saint Joseph in Mandaue City. This symbolic trip shows the Filipino filial piety of respecting one's parents.
Aside from its symbolism, the parade also shows the festivity of the Cebuanos. The spectacle becomes a show of the unity of the Cebuanos and their creativity. Cebuanos from all over the province come to witness this event.
With the cooperation of every Cebuano, the fluvial parade has always been grandiose and yet peaceful; crowded but in order.
Despite that, some people try to be near the Image of the Señor. In times like this that the parade gets a little messy, but authorities prepare measures. Some civilians support this by volunteering. And the Coast Guard authorities appoint them as supports.
The Sinulog and Scotty's
Speaking of which, we, at Scotty's Action Sports Network, give our fair share in making the event successful. We have been, will be participating as an auxiliary coast guard. We offer our available boats to maintain order and secure the peace of the event. It is to honor the Cebuano spirit of the festival and to take part in keeping the community safe even in the waters.
Every year, Cebuanos try to outdo themselves and every year they get better and better. So everyone should look forward to it; in this fiesta called Sinulog! Viva Pit Senyor!
Sinulog Festival Researches and References
All pictures used for this article are from Wikimedia Commons.
If you want to know more about the Sinulog, take a look at some of our references below.
- Holy Infant of Atocha
- Santo Niño de Cebu
- History of Sinulog
- Sinulog Fluvial Parade
- Historical sites (in Cebuano / Bisaya)
- Mandaue Church
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The Research and Media Team at Scotty's.
The views, ideas, and opinions expressed by the writers of Scotty's Media team do not necessarily reflect or represent the views, ideas, and opinions of the company, Scotty's Action Sports Network, Inc.