The dazzling costumes, the thrilling performance, and the upbeat music in the air - all of these are bound to leave you awestruck in the Sinulog Festival. Dubbed as the “mother of all festivals,” this cultural and religious event is annually held on the third Sunday of January. Up to these days, millions of people all over the world flock to Cebu just to witness the grandness and beauty of this festival.
History of Sinulog Festival
Sinulog festival started as a dance ritual in the 1980s. In the four centuries of its existence, it serves as a representation of the current of Cebu's Pahina River, or referred to as "sulog." The dancers' movements resemble the wave of the waters, which is done through a step backward and two steps forward rhythm.
Before the coming of the Spaniards, the Sinulog dance was already done by Filipino natives as a way to praise their idols. Later, when Magellan introduced Christianity, the dance was done to honor Santo Nino, the figure of the child Jesus. Sinulog has become a performance that exhibits the story of how the Filipinos transitioned from paganism to Christianity.
2020 Schedule of Activities and Highlights
The festival does not only show a series of dances and costumes, but they also have other contests that are free for people to join. Some of these are photo contests, talent shows, and beauty pageants. There are also activities such as fun runs, art exhibits, concerts, street fairs, and fireworks display.
Most awaited is the Sinulog Grand Parade which will happen on the third Sunday of January. The grand parade usually starts early in the morning at Cebu City Sports Complex, but may be subject to change depending on the other activities, which will be announced soon. For updates regarding the schedule of events, you may refer to the official website of Sinulog Festival.
- Since your goal is to have fun and to take part in most of the activities, it's best to wear comfortable and light clothes.
- Be sure to bring water, sunscreen, and enough money wherever you go.
- Don't be afraid to try the exotic food and specialties of Cebu. There are loads of surprises for your taste buds!
- Wake up early so you can get a good view of the performance.
- The more the merrier! The activities and performances are best enjoyed with the company of your friends and family.
- Be wary of pickpockets especially in crowded events like concerts, parades, and fairs.
HOW TO GET THERE
As of this writing, Mactan-Cebu International Airport serves 25 domestic destinations and 22 international routes.
- All major airlines in the Philippines offer direct flights from Manila to Cebu. The flight typically lasts around 1 hour and 10 minutes. Tourists also have the option to go to Cebu by ferry. 2Go travel offers this route, however the travel time lasts about 10 hours.
From Mindanao, other parts of Luzon and Visayas
- There are direct flights to Cebu from the following airports: Clark in Pampanga and Puerto Princesa in Palawan (Luzon); Dumaguete, Bacolod, Iloilo, Roxas City in Capiz, Caticlan in Aklan (Visayas) ; and Davao City, General Santos, Cagayan De Oro City, Butuan City, Surigao City and Siargao Island (Mindanao).
From the airport in Mactan, you can take a MyBus, metered taxi or Grabcar going to Cebu City.