Capturing my First SINULOG Experience

Monday, January 17, 2011

By: Jayson Patalinghug

I remember my History teacher when he told me that that the reason why Filipinos were easily conquered and colonized by the Spaniards, was because of their strong fate on the supreme being who created this world. Magellan came with a sword and a cross on his hands; many were Christianized and the Spaniards took control over our country for more than 100 years. Long enough to influence us with their culture in the process of acculturation. 

Catholicism became widespread in the Philippines and even with the rise  of the new secular groups its influence to the people can never be erased in just a blink of an eye. The church had introduced a lot of festivities in our country and these festivals are celebrated with enthusiasm and extreme faith that it would bring blessings and good fortune to the country. One of the most celebrated is the feast of the holy child Jesus or the Senior Sto. Niño. There are various cities and municipalities in the Philippines that hold feasts in honor of Senior Sto. Niño but the most popular is the SINULOG festival of Cebu City.

I have heard a lot about this festival since I was young, but I never got the chance to witness one. When I arrived in Cebu last 2008, I told myself that I should see the feast which became the pride of the Cebuanos. However, I was not able to witness it because I always had shifts on that very day and I never got a vacation leave because the company only offered a limited slots for that occasion. Well, let us just say, I never got a luck because my leave applications  for Sinulog were always denied. This year must be my lucky year for I was given a three days vacation for the said occasion.

My co-supervisor who also got a vacation leave on that day asked me to be her business partner. The plan was to sell foods to the people who will join and watch the street dancing competition which is the highlight of the event. I grabbed the offer since making money while enjoying the feast is not a bad idea. 

I noticed the transformation of the city. The traffic increased; street vendors were everywhere; Malls and other stores were playing loud music about Sinulog; actors were having mall tour and concerts; colorful displays were everywhere and almost in all corners of city you can find various altars built only in the honor of the holy child. The numbers of people (both locals and tourists) who went to the popular Sto. Niño shrine also increased that it caused traffic and stampede already. 

I already ran out of words to describe the feast so I decided to take some pictures to share (Im sorry camera is only cheap so the shots were not so good).

Above is the traffic in Fuente Circle 2 days before the Sinulog festival. I was with my sister and and a friend at that time to see some entertainment sponsored by the elementary and high school teachers from various municipalities of Cebu. We found it hard to cross the street because of the traffic so we took the overpass bridge and while we were above the busy street, I decided to capture the scene of slow moving vehicles.

The reason why there were heavy traffic were the mob who came to see the entertainment at the Fuente circle and the group of bikers above. There were around hundreds of them on the street forming a bikers parade.

It was difficult to fight against the vehicles in the street and the large number of people in the park (include the nice displays in the circles). Because of that, we were already late and we had only witnessed the finale of the teachers presentation. 

I think I don't need to explain further. This is one of the reason why I was late for the entertainment. I can't help it, but stop and play around.

Before we went home, we stopped by at the different altars and booths surrounding the Fuente Circle. these booths show the Cebuano's patronage to the holy child. 

A day before sinulog, I went to SM super mall with Miss Juliet. We visited the art gallery and as I expected, they were also displaying different paintings and sculpture of the holy child Jesus.

The night before sinulog, I was already prepared. Above was taken while I was waiting for a jeepney on my way to our business site.

I did not gain anything in this business but body pain. We were selling barbecue on the street while everybody was busy checking on their favorite dancers and actors. 

The pregnant lady above is my business partner. Beside her is her husband and the other guy wearing black is Edmund, he helped a lot in setting up our place.

Below are photos of the glamorous dancers who joined the festival. They came from the different islands all over the Philippines. (Thank you Cath and Ferdie for the photos). 

Sinulog Festival was not just about beautiful dancers and costumes. Different groups both public and private also showcased their fabulous booths decorated with flowers. See photos below for some of these wonderful booths.  (thanks again to Cath for capturing these photos). By the way guys on the first and second pictures are my office mates in Convergys Cebu.

Our TV icons could not miss this memorable event. They also came to party and witness the grand festival of the holy child. Below are some of their photos captured by my friend Cath Allerite, also my officemate in Convergys Cebu.

The street parade started at 6 in the morning and ended up around 5 or 6 in the afternoon. How long is that? hehehe. The street was so busy that no vehicle can enter. The people had to walk from Colon street to Fuente Circle. 

I did not finish the celebration because my body was already tired and I felt that I would collapse any moment at that time. I went home and despite of the tiresome day I felt joy inside. I am happy that at last I became part of the SINULOG festival. 

Next year, I am looking forward that you too can join us. Come and visit us in Cebu City!


Anonymous,  January 17, 2011 at 11:09 PM  

cool shots ah.. hehehe... i want to be seen that too... napakaganda at makulay ang celebration ah .... hope one day marating at masaksihan ko talaga un.. thanks for this photo docu kahit paano nakita ko xa ^_^...


Mikejuha January 18, 2011 at 8:10 AM  

nice jayson! salamat kahit papaano, may nakita ako sa sinulog... ganda!

Anonymous,  January 18, 2011 at 5:30 PM  

weeeh...Sinulog....ang ganda naman sana makapunta din ako ng cebu one time lang....wanna join sinulog....

Anonymous,  January 22, 2011 at 11:02 PM  

PROBABLY......honestly speaking.
i admire you so much sir for being a good teacher...
i salute you......
for being who you are....
because you so hardworking....
when?kaha ang time na i can really stand with my own feet....

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