Sinulog Contingents: The Colors Defining the Sinulog Revelry

Cebu, Philippines — #wheninCebu, Sinulog would mean a lot to Cebuanos and the rest of the world. This means that it will be another showcase of the ingenuity and the creative minds of the Cebuanos to come up with a bigger, brighter and more bolder celebration for the Queen City of the South.
The parade would not be complete without the Sinulog Contingents, the lifeblood of the street Mardi Gras. This is the pure manifestation of not only the Cebuanos’ strong faith and belief in the Holy Child, Senior Sto. Nino, but also the contingents would let us get a glimpse on the different eras of Cebuano history, how it came about, from the foreign conquests to the modern time, and how Cebuanos became resilient amid calamities, catastrophes, typhoons, and other problems plaguing this population. The contingents also provide us a colorful definition to what the celebration is all about. The contingents had also made the festival more exciting and worthy to watch for. Other provinces from all over the country also made their way to join the festival. In the recent years, other contingents would also showcase their own festivals incorporated into the Sinulog theme of One Beat, One Dance, One Vision.
So how does to contingents compete with the festival? Here is a list of guidelines taken from the Official Sinulog Foundation page to give us an inkling of what will be expected during the parade:
1.) This competition is open to all regardless if you are from Cebu or not to give equal opportunity to everyone to showcase their crafts. This is one rule that will let all other provinces to showcase their festivals that are, in one way or another, connected to Sinulog.
2.) The contingent should have dancers ranging from sixty [60] to a hundred [100] individuals.

Sinulog Contingents
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Any excess will result into having a deduction of 3 points. For uniformity, this rule applies to both the Sinulog Base Category and Free Interpretation Contingents. This is also to make sure that they will fit the stage at the Cebu City Sports Complex Oval.
3.) To qualify, there should be ten entries total per category, if less, the category is treated as “No Competition” category.
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4.) For the instrumentalist, the required number ranges from 30-60 individuals, their attire should stick to their team/group theme in consonance with the Sinulog Festival Theme of One Beat, One Dance, One Vision. This is to ensure that they will be identified from each other. 
5.) For the participants, there is only one authorized service vehicle for every float or contingent.  This is to minimize the vehicles passing  by the streets in the vicinity of the grandstand and also to avoid the props and other materials to be lost.
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6.) It is a must that hand props will be carried by the dancers for the entire duration of the parade. 
7.) The backdrops required will be within the 10-12 feet in height and 35-40 meters in width specification and will be allowed to be placed on stage.  No contingent will  be allowed to leave props, backdrops and other creatives at the back of the stage. Failure to follow this simple rule will be grounds for violation resulting to a deduction of twenty (20) points from the final overall score.
8.) There is an allocation for wheels and lights onstage, however, the definite rule number 8 will be followed strictly. This is to avoid accidents in the stage.
9.) All the participants are advised to use the specified footwear that will closely compliment their team design/theme to add a little personalized touch to costumes and also for them to be comfortable while performing in the streets or at the stage.  
10.) Electric guitars, piano, organ, electronic drum sets, and all other electronic instruments are allowed to be music accompaniment for the contingents. This is one way to step up the game and show how creative and innovative the teams competing will be. Music brings forth the best vibes and can win you the attention of the crowd.
11.) Participating Contingents will have their own sleeping quarters at designated public schools. This will start on Thursday, January 14, 2016. Contingents will need to bring their own comfort and sleeping gears. For information and other concerns, contingents are advised to kindly contact Sinulog Office at 2545010 / 2533700.
12.) For contingents coming from outside of Cebu, the meals and boat/ plane fares would be on personal account however, local transportation is provided by the Sinulog organizers.
13.) Winners during the Grand Parade are actually obliged to perform for the crowd during the awarding ceremonies on Monday, January 18, 2016 at 1:00 PM, Cebu City Sports Center.
14.) When the judges will release their decision as to who are the winners, then it is already final and undisputable. Any form of questions and clarifications will not be entertained once the final announcement are made. This is to be fair for everyone.
15.) The participating contingents are prohibited from contacting any of the judges before, during and after the scheduled competition. This act may disqualify the contingents and this is also given to maintain the integrity of the presiding council of judges.
These are just some of the general house rules and regulations for the contingents and the other participants for the Sinulog Mardi Gras. This is made to ensure that there will a peaceful and orderly staging of the participants during the street parade. The house rules made by the Sinulog Foundation ensures that the upcoming festivals for Sinulog will run smoothly with minimal to no issues at all.
Every year, the crowds are getting bigger. The streets can be barely passed. This only shows that generally, Cebu is a safe place to execute such a grand festival with its capacity to welcome and take care of its guests. Having drawn a crowd that grows bigger and bigger each year is no easy feat however, Cebuanos, when united, are able to carry out such task. See you around the streets! Pit Senyor!


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