Cebu City is a first class highly urbanized city, the second largest metropolitan and the second capital city of the country. The city is located at the eastern shore of the Island of Cebu in the Visayas region. Being the first Spanish settlement, it is also the oldest city, first capital city and the first Roman Catholic region. Cebu is the country’s main domestic shipping point making it cater almost 80% of the country’s shipment companies.
Cebu City’s Annual Sinulog Festival
Sinulog-Santo Nino Festival
Sinulog is an annual celebration in Cebu City. The center of worship and feasts of the Sto. Nino in the country. The word Sinulog comes from the word “sulog” which means “rigorous water movement”. The act or movement of waters are described or being conceptualized in the forward-backward steps of the Sinulog dance accompanied by the sound of drums.
The Sinulog dance is a ritual prayer dance to honor the senor Santo Nino, the Child Jesus. Way back the Spanish regime, Ferdinand Magellan was said to give the Cebuanos an image of the Child Jesus as a symbol of their friendship, faith and conversion to the Roman Catholics Church. The Sinulog dance was identified to be danced by the natives to their animist gods but as the conversion began they had it in honor of the Child Jesus taking away their animist beliefs.
The History of Sinulog Festival
The first ever Sinulog dance was said to be on 1521, the year Magellan had planted the cross on the shores of Cebu as a symbol of claiming the territory. The image of Child Jesus was given to Rajah Humabon and his wife Hara Humamay and later on been baptized together with 800 natives under their rule. As a joyous event, Hara Humaymay, baptized as Queen Juana, danced in the tune of Sinulog together with the other natives.
The image of the Child Jesus has garnered thousands and millions of devotees because of its miraculous ways. The first Sinulog parade was held on 1980, composed of students and devotees, which later on conceptualized into a festival celebrated annually.
Sinulog Festival Annual Celebration
Many devotees as well as tourist now visit Cebu every January because of the celebration of Sinulog in the City. There are many activities that draw not only the Child Jesus’ devotees but tourists as well. The main highlight of the festival is the Sinulog dance parade, the procession and the masses observed in honor of the Child Jesus. There are also other contests and street parties all over the city of Cebu in the month long celebration.
Each year the council of Cebu who organizes the event makes sure of the safety and peaceful turn of the celebration. There are street fares, cultural show, beauty pageants, fluvial processions, masses, short film/documentary, music and video contest, photo exhibits and among others.