Sinulog has always been one of the most awaited festivals here in the Philippines. With all its parades, religious processions, and numerous street parties, both local and foreign tourists fly in to visit and celebrate this special day with Cebuanos. Case in point, this year’s Typhoon Agaton did not serve as a hindrance for people to flock to Cebu.
As part of the pre-celebration of Sto. Niño’s feast day, devotees from all over the Cebu region attended the nine-day-novena masses. This was to offer their Thanksgiving as well as prayers of petition.
Also, aside from the religious nature of the festivity, Sinulog has almost become synonymous to parties. Days leading up to the celebration, young people everywhere made a mad dash to book party reservations; all of them looking forward to attending the best party of the year. Cebu got so jam-packed that about 2 days before Sinulog, Friday, 17th of January, people are by then seen walking to their destinations.
Traffic last January 17, 2014 was no different; it was in no way alleviated by the fact that this was the day of the annual LifeDance party. Heaps of people were seen heading towards boardwalk Mandaue, to take part of what seemed to be the party of a lifetime.
Attracting such a huge crowd, this was the place to be. Normal party goers got to rub shoulders with celebrities as they moved to the tracks played by international and local celebrity DJs.
As with all notable parties, the LifeDance party also came with a price. General admission tickets were sold at PHP750.00 and the VIP ones at PHP1,500. Despite this though, people got every penny’s worth. The event did not fail to impress with all the stops pulled out to ensure a night people won’t soon forget.
The Visperas or the day before Sinulog, January 18, 2014 was the procession of Sto. Niño. Once again, everything was congested- roads and telecommunication networks alike. However, it is worth noting that this year’s telecommunication problems were not as bad as last year. And as for the roads, a lot of routes were closed, forcing people to walk. According to a police estimate, crowd numbers that day reached about 3.5 million people, most of which were Sto. Niño devotees who took part in the procession.
On the day of the Sinulog Festival itself, January 19, 2014, an assortment of events were enjoyed by the crowd. There was the Street Parade that featured colorful and creative floats graced by celebrities and pageant winners such as Miss Cebu and Miss Mandaue. Beautiful and unique costumes were also seen from contestants of the street parades as they showcased their talents and folk dances.
Last and probably one of the more full-on highlights of the day was the “Baseline Party”. Best described as a wet and wild party, all sorts of alcohol flowed freely, either as a drink or the occasional shower, as party music blasted and people started dancing. Spreading like a wildfire, color also literally spread throughout the streets as party-goers were splashed or smeared with paint by just about anyone they came in contact with.
Three days of frolicking and nonstop activities is no easy feat. As parties and roads start to clear up on that last day: people, however glad they are for the rest that is to come are once again anticipating next year’s celebration. That is but a testament of what Sinulog is to people. It has always been a favorite and will definitely stay as one in the foreseeable future.