Sinulog Festival 2019 Schedule of Events and Activities

Sinulog Festival of Cebu is considered to be one of the most festive, most popular - the grandest festival in the Philippines. Sinulog Festival consistently brings together millions of people each year to commemorate one of the major events in the country’s religious history and celebrate in honor of the patron saint of Cebu, Santo Niño or Child Jesus.

Sinulog Festival 2019 Schedule of Events and Activities

The history of Santo Niño dates back to almost half a millennium ago when Ferdinand Magellan arrived on the shores of Mactan and presented the famed relic of the Child Jesus to the wife of Rajah Humabon as a baptismal present. But it was only in 1980 when the first Sinulog parade was organized and later on adopted to the festival we know today. 

Sinulog came from the Cebuano adverb sulog, meaning “like water current moving”, hence the forward-backward step in the Sinulog Dance that seems to be mimicking water waves. According to historians, natives have been dancing the Sinulog even before the arrival of Magellan to honor their animist idols. However, it has evolved through the years to become the ritual-prayer dance honoring Santo Niño it is today. 

Held every third Sunday of January, the festival showcases not only the deep devotion of the Cebuanos but also their rich culture and magnificent creativity. 

How to Get There

As of this writing, Mactan-Cebu International Airport serves 25 domestic destinations and 22 international routes.

From Manila/Luzon : 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. 

Travel Notes
  • If you are from outside Cebu, make sure to book your flight early and not on the weekend of the festival. You might also want to be in Cebu before the main celebration if you don’t want to miss anything. 
  • The festival is expected to attract over 2 million tourists around the world this 2019. With a large number of visitors like this, it is advisable to book hotel accommodations earlier to avoid any hassle. 
  • During the grand parade, pay attention to your belongings as you will be packed in a huge crowd. Do not bring unnecessary items with you to avoid any hassle; a bottle of water, camera, and your wallet and other essentials is actually enough. Most importantly, keep calm; you will be pushed, stepped on, shoved, etc. given the huge crowd but they are all part of the fun. 

What to Wear 

There are actually no rules when it comes to choosing what to wear during the festival. It’s up to your personal taste and style but with the sheer number of attendees and the humid weather in the country, you may want to opt for more comfortable outfits. There will also be a lot of walking so put on your reliable walking shoes or slippers. Although there are no rules, remember that you are attending a religious celebration so dress appropriately. 

Don’t forget to slather on your sunblock too! The sun can still be so harsh even at this time of the year. 

Other Things to do in Cebu City/Cebu Province

Cebu is a beautiful province, bursting with both natural and man-made wonders, you will never run out of things to do or go. 

Discover some of Cebu’s rich history by visiting the Cebu Heritage Monument, or travel back in time inside the 1730 Jesuit House, and most especially at the Basilica del Santo Niño which is the Oldest Catholic Church in the Philippines. 

For nature-lovers, you can go on a side trip at the Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary, and at the Terrazas de Flores Botanical Garden, or you can go waterfalling/canyoneering in Kawasan Falls of Badian

Also make sure not to miss the wildest street parties at night and dance your hearts out. 

Calendar of Activities  and Events

The festival unfolds for nine days with the last day celebrated with the Grand Parade and a performance reenacting the introduction of Christianity in the country. However, the whole month of January will be filled with other fun-filled activities. This year’s expected date of the Grand Parade is on January 20, 2019. 

Here’s the unofficial Sinulog Festival Schedule of Activities and Events posted in one of the FB Pages dedicated to Sinulog Festival. This will be updated once the official Schedule of Activities and Events was released by the festival organizers. 

January 6, 2019 (Sunday)
5:00AM – Sinulog Fun Run by Philippine Sports Commission (Assembly)
6:00AM – Sinulog Dance Crew 2019 Elimination @ Cebu City Sports Center
– Kick Off ( Route: same as Sinulog Grand Parade)

January 10, 2019 (Thursday)
Opening Salvo: Walk with Jesus
4:00AM – Assembly @ Fuente Osmeña (Fuente Osmeña – Osmeña Blvd. – Basilica Minore Del Santo Niño)
4:30AM – Start of walk from Fuente Osmeña to Basilica Minore Del Santo Niño
5:30AM – Installation of Hermano & Hermana Mayores 2019 

January 11, 2019 (Friday)
Sinulog 2019 Kick Off
10:00AM – Sinulog Trade Fair @ SM City Cebu by The Department of Trade and Industry
2:00PM – Solemn Mass @ Basilica Del Santo Niño – Opening Salvo Sinulog 2019
3:00PM – Sinulog 2019 Launching Parade (Basilica to Fuente Circle to Cebu City Sports Center)
7:00PM – Opening & Launching Program @ Plaza Independencia; Presentation of: Sinulog Festival Queen, Sinulog Idol, Sinulog Dance Crew)
8:00PM – Concert @ Plaza Independencia 

January 12, 2019 (Saturday)
Sinulog sa Lalawigan
1:00PM – Parade of Participants from Capitol Grounds to Cebu City Sports Center
2:00PM – Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan @ Cebu City Sports Center
6:30PM – Cultural Show @ Plaza Independencia by Department of Education – Cebu Province
8:00PM – Sinulog Idol Elimination @ Robinsons Galleria Cebu 

January 13, 2019 (Sunday)
Sinulog sa Barangay
12:00PM – Parade of Participants from Legaspi Ext. Plaza Independencia to Cebu City Sports Center
1:00PM – Sinulog sa Barangay @ Cebu City Sports Center
6:30PM – Cultural Show @ Plaza Independencia by Cebu Technological University & Indiana Aerospace University
4:00PM – Sinulog Idol Elimination @ Robinsons Galleria Cebu
8:00PM – Concert @ Plaza Independencia 

January 14, 2019 (Monday)
6:30PM – Cultural Show @ Plaza Independencia by University of Visayas & University of Cebu
4:00PM – Sinulog Idol Elimination @ Robinsons Galleria Cebu
8:00PM – Concert @ Plaza Independencia 

January 15, 2019 (Tuesday)
6:30PM – Cultural Show @ Plaza Independencia by Mandaue City College & Mandaue School for the Arts
8:00PM – Concert @ Plaza Independencia 

January 16, 2019 (Wednesday)
6:30PM – Cultural Show @ Plaza Independencia by Salazar Institute of Technology and Cebu Doctors University
6:30PM – Cultural Show by Department of Education – Cebu City
8:00PM – Concert @ Plaza Independencia 

January 17, 2019 (Thursday)
10:00AM – Sinulog Festival Queen 2019 Photo Shoot @ SM City Cebu Events Center
6:00PM – Sinulog Festival Queen 2019 Parade of Costumes & Runway Competition @ SM City Cebu Northwing Atrium
6:30PM – Cultural Show @ Plaza Independencia by University of San Carlos
8:00PM – Concert @ Plaza Independencia 

January 18, 2019 (Friday)
4:00AM – Walk with Mary (Our Lady of Guadalupe Church – V. Rama Ave. – left to B. Rodriguez St. – Fuente Osmeña-Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño)
7:00AM – Cebu – Mandaue – Lapu-Lapu Traslacion
9:00AM – Solidarity Meeting (All Competing Contingents, Floats, Higante, & Puppeteers) @ Cebu City Sports Center
6:30PM – Cultural Show @ Plaza Independencia by University of Southern Philippines Foundation, University of San Jose Recoletos, and Cebu Institute Technology University
7:30PM – Sinulog Festival 2019 Festival Queen Coronation Night and Sinulog Dance Crew Grand Showdown @ Cebu City Sports Center
9:00PM – Concert @ Plaza Independencia
— LifeDance 2019 

January 19, 2019 (Saturday)
2:00AM – Mass @ National Shrine of St. Joseph
3:00AM – Mandaue-Lapu-Lapu Traslacion
6:00AM – Fluvial Procession of the Miraculous Image of the Santo Niño
9:00AM – Re-enactment of the Baptism of Queen Juana & Rajah Humabon @ Basilica Del Santo Niño
1:00PM – Solemn Procession of the Miraculous Image of the Santo Niño
7:00PM – Sinulog Idol 2019 Grand Finals @ Plaza Independencia
– Sinulog Fireworks Competition @ SM City Cebu
8:00PM – Concert @ Plaza Independencia
— Plus63 Festival 

January 20, 2019 (Sunday)
Sinulog 2019 Grand Parade
4:00AM – Mañanita Mass @ Basilica Del Santo Niño
6:00AM – Pontifical Mass @ Basilica Del Santo Niño
6:30AM – Holy Mass @ Cebu City Sports Center
7:30AM – Sinulog 2019 Grand Parade Kick Off @ Cebu City Sports Center
4:00PM – Sinulog 2019 Grand Finale @ Cebu City Sports Center
6:00PM – Parokya ni Edgar @ Plaza Independencia
7:00PM – Pyrospectacular Show @ SM City Cebu
9:00PM – Pyrospectacular Show @ SM Seaside City Cebu 

January 21, 2019 (Monday)
Awarding Ceremonies
1:00PM – Awarding Ceremonies @ Cebu City Sports Center 

January 25, 2019 (Friday)
“HUBO Mass” 
4:00AM – Mass @ Basilica Minore del Sto.Niño Pilgrim Center 

From Sinulog Foundation's Official FB Page, below is the Official List of Contingents as of  November 26, 2018. 
The list is subject to change without prior notice.

𝗦𝗶𝗻𝘂𝗹𝗼𝗴 𝘀𝗮 𝗕𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗮𝘆
1. Sapangdaku
2. San Nicolas Proper
3. Mambaling
4. Talamban
5. Basak San Nicolas
6. Mabolo
7. Suba
8. Sawang
9. Cambinucot
10. Cogon Pardo
11. Inayawan
12. Bulacao
13. Labangon
14. Guadalupe 

𝗦𝗶𝗻𝘂𝗹𝗼𝗴 𝘀𝗮 𝗟𝗮𝗹𝗮𝘄𝗶𝗴𝗮𝗻
1. Carcar City
2. Ginatilan
3. Consolacion
4. Bogo City
5. Talisay City 

𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗦𝗶𝗻𝘂𝗹𝗼𝗴 𝗚𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗲 𝗢𝗻𝗹𝘆
1. Murcia, Negros Occidental (out of town)
2. Placer, Surigao del Norte (out of town)
3. Daan Bantayan
4. Toledo City

Check Sinulog Foundation Inc Official FB Page for recent Sinulog Festival news and updates. Enjoy!


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