Cebu, Philippines — Do you really need a Sinulog Guide? We Filipinos had our own share of joining festivals. Be it on the urban jungle or in the provinces, we all have our own story on how we had survived when these festivals will turn fun, crazy and carefree.
Cebuanos had its own way of surviving festivals. We devise ways on how we can enjoy it to the fullest without being caught in the middle of a maddening crowd. We always have a way to chill in the midst of a very bustling crowd.
Here’s a Sinulog Guide for you
Before the Sinulog Week
Since we are all busy with the preparations of the Christmas season, then it is high time that right after the yuletide cheer, we then start with planning how to enjoy the festivities without being caught in the crowd clueless.
Find a good place to spend the Sinulog week
This is when you can carefully maximize the potential of the hotel industry here in the Queen City of the South. The city is vibrantly pulsating with choices from the laid back to the frontlines of the street parade. It is your choice where you spend your sunsets and sunrises.
Research on the activities for Cebu to build your itinerary
It pays to have good research. Contact friends who hail from Cebu, ask around. Read the web and spend some good time checking on the best places to stay, the best restaurants to dine when on a budget or when splurging, have the best views in the metropolis. Check out the colorful nightlife scene for those who would love to dance the night away.
If you are having a Devotion to the Holy Child, or curious on it, join the Novena Masses at the Basilica
This is a way of doing some reflections on the past year and what will be your personal aspirations on the ongoing year. This is where you can give thanks to the heavens for the blessings received in life.
You should the join the Translacion.
This is the foot procession of the image of the Miraculous Child and the Blessed Virgin to St. Joseph Shrine. Annually, this is when the Holy Family is reunited in one solemn procession. This is where the images of Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and the Sto Nino being brought out in the streets in a solemn procession.
Join the Fluvial Procession
This is one of the most sought after sea parade of the Holy Child of Jesus image. It is the saturday before the street parade and it is a refreshing twist when devotees would wait onshore for the passing of the fleet carrying the image.
Check out the inter baranggay celebration for Sinulog.
There are a lot of baranggays and sitios in Cebu where celebrates the Sinulog Festival in their own street parade and mini mardi gras. This is a result of the efforts of the baranggay officials who also gathered their constituents for a mini street parade.
During the Sinulog Week
This is the time when the revelry goes full blast. You will find an interesting assortment of the kind of activity that you want to attend or need to attend. This is the best time to explore the options that make Cebu one of a kind.
Watch the parade.
This is the very primary way to get infected with the Sinulog Vibe and Fever! See before your very eyes the parading contingents, the giants, the floats and the festival queens who actually dance their way around the mardi gras routes.
Join the afterparty.
When the sun sets down the horizon, it is a good time to chill and meet with friends so that you can enjoy the night while it is young. It will let you see that Cebu has already evolved into a place where establishments become avenues not only for socializing but also for making new connections.
Watch magnificent fireworks.
The Sinulog experience would not be complete without the Sinulog Festival Fireworks. This is an annual tradition of showcasing the best pyrotechnics that dominate the night sky. The festival of lights shows that Cebuanos had this certain creativity and innovation to let the spectators get awed with figures during the light play.
Get a henna and face paint.
Wanted to look great with your Sinulog cut and style outfits? Then this is your chance of doing henna tattoos and face paint too, a water based poster paint that depicts different designs depending on what you like. You may also have your hair colored with hair chalk too to complete the artful experience.
Celebrate with relatives who always do food trips at home.
This is a gastronomic way of celebrating the Sinulog Festival. Families usually prepare food as a way of giving thanks for the blessings received especially good health, wealth, healthy family relationships and the like.
If brave enough, join the Color Wars during the street parade.
This is the way of the youth to celebrate the colors of the festivity. Recently, the young crowd sprays pain and beer on your white shirt and as well as on your hair, making you drenched. Most of the teenagers and the yuppies who wanted to unwind during the Sinulog Week find this as a crazy, yet fun experience on the day of the street parade itself.
Bond with people who matter the most.
These people are the best ones whom you can turn to in times of trouble and need. They are the ones who can understand your struggles and dreams in life. Bonding with them not only renews ties but strengthens them as well. These are the best moments that you can share with them, be it a parent, a friend or a loved one. Going thru the novena masses, offering prayers for the dearly departed and success of current and upcoming endeavors, the list is endless.
Get some exercise by walking the entire day.
Burn up some fats stored up during the Yuletide Season. Let this be the time where you sweat it out while having fun. This is the best way that you can lose some of the burden of having too much extra calories. Getting used to walking during this particular weekend will make you prepared for that summer body that you always wanted.
Get lost in the crowd.
Sometimes, getting lost in the crowd is one way of finding yourself. This is a time where you can see the city in a different light. This is also the best way for you to check out the not so explored streets around the metro and you might just get the surprise of your life.
The Morning After and the REST of the days after
Get some good rest.
This the best way to spend the day after all the partying, walking, drinking and exploring the city. This is a way to recuperate from all the indirect stress and the pollution your body is receiving during the festival itself. Eventually, REST is the next best thing the morning after.
Feast on some of the food leftovers, it’s a fiesta after all.
There are some families who would really prepare a lot during the Sinulog weekend. Some of the food left overs specially lechon can be given a different light. It is comforting to eat Paksiw shared with the family a day after the Sinulog.
Watch the awarding ceremonies in the afternoon.
Can’t get enough of the Sinulog Fever? Relieve the performances of the contingents that rocked the Sinulog Dance Parade with the winner’s repeat performances.
- Get some really good massage to relax muscles.
After the grueling and no mercy walk during the Sinulog Grand Parade on the streets, what a better way to spend the day than to have a soothing and relaxing massage to ease out those overworked muscles that survived the more than 18 hours of non stop walking and partying and merry making.
- Water Up.
Hydrating is the best way to flush out the toxins obtained during the week. This is best way to make sure that the lost nutrients and electrolytes are being replaced. It is a helpful way also of cleansing the body system with clean and refreshing water. As a natural body temperature regulator, water is a very essential component of the body to maintain the normal homeostasis. So hydrating is a must.
- Watch the “Hubo” or the Changing of Garments for the Senior Sto. Nino.
- Go visit the heritage sites after the “Hubo” like Casa Gorordo, Yap Sandiego House, 1730 Jesuit House and the Archdiocesan Museum.
- Light some candles and offer some prayer of thanksgiving for another successful year to the Holy Child. This is the best time to renew your faith and personal devotion [if ever there is any] or start a new one.
These things are just suggestions on what to do. It will be still up for the traveler on how he/she would want to spend the Sinulog Weekend. Go where your intuition and heart’s desire will lead you. See you on the streets! Pit Senyor!!!