Sinulog Festival Cebu City Philippines
Sinulog is a cultural and religious festival in honor of Santo Nino (child image of Jesus Christ) in Cebu City Philippines which is held every third Sunday of January. Sinulog Festival is celebrated because this was the time (year 1521) the Cebuanos accepted and converted to Christianity or Roman Catholicism. The first conversion happened when Rajah Humabon and Hara Amihan, his wife has been baptized and has now been known as Haring Carlos and Reyna Juana.
The Sinulog Festival lasts for nine days and the last day is celebrated with the grand street parade (9 to 12 hours) with people from different provinces, towns, and cities particpates with colorful costumes every third Sunday of January and ususally held at Cebu City Sports Complex. The grand street parade has also been considered as one of the main attraction or highlight of the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City. Some famous filipino celecrities also joins the grand street parade which makes the festival more splendid.
The Archdiocese of Cebu sponsors the fluvial procession which is held a day before the grand street parade at dawn. They bring with them the statue of the Santo Nino with a pump boat that is decorated with flowers and candles from Mandaue City Cebu and ends at Basilica Minore del Santo Nino Cebu City. From there, a re-enactment of the baptism to the Christian faith is performed.
History of how the Sinulog Festival started
Ferdinand Magellan, a Portugese explorer, arrived in Cebu City Philippines on April 15, 1521, to claim the territory for Spain and plant the cross on Cebu shores. Rajah Humabon and Hara Amihan converted to Christianity and was baptized and has now been known as Haring Carlos and Reyna Juana.. As a baptismal gift to them, Ferdinand Magellan gave them the image of child Jesus or the Santo Nino. When Hara Amihan or Reyna Juana received the holy image, she danced with joy while holding the santo nino. Other natives followed her and thus it became the first sinulog. Around 800 natives were also later baptized at the Roman Catholic Church.
Lopez de Leagzpi came to Cebu City Philippines and claimed that the image of Santo Nino gives miracles and requested to build a Church on the site where it was found. This church was named San Agustin Church and was then renamed as Basilica Minore del Santo Nino.
In 1980, the Cebu City goveernment organized the first Sinulog Festival and parade and then later became a yearly event. The Sinulog Festival does not only focus on the ritual but also on the historical aspect of the dance that represents the embrace of Christian faith.
Sinulog Foundation Inc.
Address: Cebu City Sports Center, Osmena Blvd., Cebu City Philippines 6000
Telphone Number: 63 32 2533700 or 63 32 2545010 or 63 32 4164845