Sinulog, The Philippines

Aileen from I am Aileen

My favorite festival would be Sinulog, an annual cultural and religious festival in Cebu Philippines that commemorates the Filipino’s acceptance of Christianity and is the center of the Santo Niño celebration in the country.

This is a VERY lively celebration lasting for 9 days in January, in which the popular Sinulog Grand Parade that runs for 9 to 12 hours is held on the final day. This parade is the definite highlight of this festival since it’s like Mardi Gras. It’s a long procession that consists of groups clad in colorful costumes, swaying to the Sinulog dance — a distinct forward-backward movement in accordance to a very recognizable beat of the drums that identifies this festivity. This dance step also perfectly depicts the meaning of the word ‘Sinulog’ which is from the Cebuano adverb ‘sulog’ that means: “like water current movement”.


While dancing, most of the street dancers occasionally shout petitions or thanksgivings like “Pit Senyor kang Mama kini, Pit Senyor kang Papa kini!” or simply the more identifiable phrase “Viva Pit Señor!” which means “to call, ask, and plead to the king”. There would also be a girl that’s usually in front of each group that would wave icons of the Santo Niño at hand as they dance; this is some sort of reenactment as Queen Amihan receives the image of the Sto. Nino.

TRIVIA: Millions of people flock to this event every year and it can reach up to 4 million!

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