The Sinulog Festival is an annual festival held in Cebu City every third Sunday of January, drawing tens of thousands of Santo Niño devotees from across the Visayas region and even from all over the country.
This festival is patterned after the popular Ati-Atihan Festival in Panay but is distinct in its dance moves. The dance is characterized by two graceful steps forward and one back, while drums, native gongs, and trumpets beat a distinct rhythm.
The celebration is made in honor of the Santo Niño but is also a commemoration of the Filipino people's pagan origin. According to history, the wife of Rajah Humabon, Hara Amihan, received a baptismal gift in the form of an image of the child Jesus, the Santo Niño, from Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan after he baptized the people on his visit to Cebu. Overjoyed, the queen danced while holding the statue. The 800 other natives who were baptized along with her also danced. It was then that the Sinulog was first danced; however, it would take centuries later before a festival in the honor of the Santo Niño will be created in Cebu City.
Today, the festival lasts for 9 days, highlighted by a fluvial procession from Mandaue City to Cebu City before the grand parade where several contingents also join in the Sinulog street dance contest.
The main streets of Cebu are known to be closed off to traffic for the entire day, with the grand parade being quite long and lasting for several hours, ending at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. The Sinulog Contest is usually held in the Cebu City Sports Complex.
Sinulog 2014 (Tentative*) Schedule of Activities and Highlights of Events
January 9, 2014 (Thursday)
- Opening Salvo
- Walk with Jesus
January 10, 2014 (Friday)
- Sinulog Festival 2014 Kick-Off
January 11, 2014 (Saturday)
- Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan 2014
January 12, 2014 (Sunday)
- Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan 2014
January 15, 2014 (Wednesday)
- Miss Cebu 2014 Coronation Night
January 16, 2014 (Thursday)
- Sinulog Festival 2014 Queen Photo Shoot
January 17, 2014 (Friday)
- Walk With Mary
- Cebu Pop Festival
- Sinulog Festival Queen Competition 2014
January 18, 2014 (Saturday)
- Fluvial Procession
- Solemn Foot Procession
- Sinulog Pyrofest at SM City Cebu
January 19, 2014 (Sunday)
- Sinulog Festival 2014 34th Grand Parade
- Symphony of Fire at Ayala Center Cebu
January 20, 2014 (Monday)
- Sinulog 2014 Awarding Ceremonies
January 24, 2014 (Friday)
- Hubo Ritual Mass at Basilica del Sto. Niño
*NOTE: The actual schedule will be updated once released by the festival organizers.