Category Archives: Festivals

Unbelievable harmony among Cebuanos during the Sinulog Festival

Sinulog 2015 at Mango almost got into a stampede

I took this picture during this year’s Sinulog 2015. My friend and I were walking from Fuente Osmena to Mango Avenue when I took it. This is about 20 meters away from National Bookstore.

We took the way past this sidewalk at the left before going to National Bookstore and Baseline. So we took the short cut since we really can’t get our way to National if we pursue to walk with those unbearable mass of people making their way to witness the festival. Too much people that it almost got into a stampede.

The people you see in this picture were going in two directions. We were going forward toward the people who were also going toward our direction.

If Cebuanos didn’t have the harmony, this scenario could have gone into a stampede. I heard one said, “Suod jud ta tanan mga Cebuano bah.” And then two young women (apparently from Manila) was feeling frustrated, one of them said: “Anu ba naman to? Matatae tayo nito.” hahahhaa! So funny that my tiredness disappeared. That kind of reaction from visitors makes you think how incredible and fascinating Cebuanos are, the unbelievable humility and calmness.

You see these people keep on going, just going to spot an area where there was space, where people are not that many.

The police at the middle of the road guarding the ones parading, raised the rope, and finally let the people make their way to the other side of the street. That was to minimize the people cramming there.

Imagine that. That’s pure harmony over there.

Had this happened in any other place in the world, there would have been a stampede. I know because I was there. I even held an iron post just to keep me free from injuries in case a stampede took place. Thank God it didn’t happen.

Sinulog Festival 2013: The Grand Parade

The Sinulog Festival 2013 grand parade will be happening tomorrow. And for those who can’t make it in Cebu to witness this event there’s a live stream on the Net. Oh yeah! This is where I’m going to watch it since I can’t make it and I won’t be able to make it. I missed 2 Sinulogs already since 2007, the Sinulog 2010 and 2012, and now will be missing this year. So that’s 3 to count after tomorrow.

Sinulog 2011

But before watching the live stream I give you the schedule of events from today Saturday until tomorrow, the big day, the Sinulog grand parade. Here is the schedule I got from Philstar:

January 19, 2013 (Saturday)

  • 6:00 AM Fluvial Procession of the Miraculous Image of Sto. Niño
  • 9:00 AM Re-enactment of the Baptism of Queen Juana and Rajah Humabon Basilica del Sto.Niño
  • 9th “THE STREET VIBRATION & BIG BIKE RALLY 2013, by V-max owners Group Inc.,
  • Cebu Chapter
  • 2:00 PM Solemn Procession of the Miraculous Image of Sto. Niño
  • 7:00 PM Sinulog Fireworks Competition at SM City Cebu
  • 7:00 PM Street party @ Fuente Osmeña and Plaza Independencia
  • 8:00 PM Kasadya Nite Mardi Gras at Ayala Center Cebu

January 20, 2013 (Sunday) SINULOG GRAND PARADE

  • 4:00 AM Mañanita Mass @Basilica del Sto. Niño
  • 6:00 AM Pontifical mass with His Eminence Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal
  • 8:00 AM Holy Mass at Cebu City Sports Center
  • 9:00 AM Sinulog Grand Parade Carousel Kick Off
  • 7:00 PM Grand Finale and Grand Fireworks, Cebu City Sports Center
  • 8:00 PM Street Party Bands, Fuente Osmeña

Once again, the moment that we’ve been waiting for. Viva Pit Senyor!

Live broadcast by Ustream

Here’s a Youtube video from dbgg1979 on the opening parade that started last week:

It was estimated by Cebu police that there will be 4 million spectators to witness the SINULOG 2013 tomorrow. 1000 police from Cebu City Police Office, 99 police trainees, and 1000 from the Visayas Police Regional Office. There will also be around 500 military police and 5000 in reserve just in case for the grand festival tomorrow.

They call this festival Mardi Gras, which was originated in Europe, also called as Fat Tuesdy, an event practiced and meant for merriment right before the Lenten season begins for Christians.

So this the the Mardi Gras in the Philippines, reported to be the last one and to end all mardi gras in the Philippines.

To all Cebuanos and to all Filipinos all over the country and all over the world: VIVA PIT SENYOR!

Photos and Videos of the 75th Araw ng Dabaw Festival

Unfortunately I weren’t able to catch the parade today ’cause I arrived pass 12 noon. Gosh. So stupid. How can I miss the Araw ng Dabaw parade of flowers and street dancing? You can’t blame me. I didn’t know the parade would stop at noontime. I thought the festival will continue until the clock ticks 12:00 midnight. Just like the Sinulog Festival, when at 12 noon the people are yet to start the celebration, then ends at 12 midnight with lots and lots of fireworks up the vanilla sky.

Anyway, since I missed the parade today, I am going to give you the photos I’ve taken last year. These are awesome pictures because these are taken from a Sony Cybershot DSC WX1. Just click this page: Photos of 74th Araw ng Dabaw.

74th Araw ng Dabaw 2011 Fire Volunteer Brigade

But if you still really really desperately want to see the latest pictures of the 75th Araw ng Dabaw celebration this morning, you can click here: 75th Araw ng Dabaw photos.

If you want to view the video coverage of today’s Araw ng Dabaw, just click the YouTube player below (yup you can do the triangle finger sign if you want while watching the video hehe):

Again, if you want to view the gallery page of last year’s Araw ng Dabaw–the 74th Araw ng Dabaw–just click this page: 74th Araw ng Dabaw gallery.

If you want to view the pictures of Cebu’s Sinulog Festival last year, yes, last year, not this year 2012, ’cause I wasn’t there. Just click this page: Sinulog 2011 gallery. For the videos of the Sinulog 2011, click this link: Sinulog 2011 photos and videos.

Madayaw na 75th Araw ng Dabaw!

Sinulog Festival Live Stream

For those who are not in Cebu and want to watch the Sinulog Festival 2012 Grand Parade happening today, you can watch this live stream below.

Watch this live stream like those who are physically in Cebu right now. See the people swarming like ants, the street dancing, the fireworks display, the ever ever beautiful and sexy Cebuanas, the skyline, new horizons, distinct food everywhere, the merry-making, the alcoholic drinks, the jumping, the cheering, the screaming, the crying, the kneeling, the raising of hands, and just about every gesture of human exhilaration and human display of praise to Senyor Sto. Nino. Only in Cebu! Only in Sinulog Festival.

This Sinulog Festival 2012 live stream is brought to you by Cebu Mayor Rama and Sun Star Cebu using the awesome service of USTREAM.


What Makes the Sinulog Festival the Mother of all Festivals in the Philippines?

{Updated for additional content, January 13, 2015}

For those who want to witness the Sinulog Festival come 3rd Sunday of January for the first time, let me give you some wonderful things that you will experience. The things that makes the Sinulog Festival the most visited festival in the Philippines. But before I will enumerate them for you, let me tell you a brief introduction about the history of the Sinulog Festival first.

The Sinulog Festival is celebrated yearly on the third Sunday of the month of January in the city of Cebu, Philippines. This is the number one festival, the mother of all festivals, and the national festival in the Philippines. It is the national festival because this is the city where Ferdinand Magellan landed when he discovered the Philippines in 1521, a city where the image of Sto. Nino is being praised as a figure of the child Jesus Christ.

With this pagan history, this particular Sto. Nino statuette was originally brought by Ferdinand Magellan in Cebu to offer it to the wife of Rajah Humabon, the ruler of Cebu, as a symbol of the Spaniards’ influence to spread the Roman Catholicism to the Philippines. His wife Hara Amihan, who was later named Queen Juana, along with the rulers of Cebu, including 800 natives, were baptized for the first time as Roman Catholics.

It is believed that the first Sinulog Festival was experienced during that first baptismal in the island, and that Queen Juana danced in joy with the statuette Sto. Nino to celebrate the beginning of Roman Catholic religion in the island.

This history what made Cebu City the cultural center and cultural capital of the Philippines.

Now, the Sinulog Festival is celebrated every year with full of enjoyment and overwhelming passion of the people; celebrated and respected with lots and lots of welcoming dances, parade of flowers, mascot shows, fireworks, and many many more. Here’s what makes the Sinulog the best and most splendid festival in the Philippines:

1.The Spectators

It has always been a tradition of Cebuanos to celebrate the Sinulog with full of zest and pride. I’ve experienced three Sinulogs already and I can tell you that the people are so overwhelming from their unbelievable cooperation with the festival.

People, particularly Cebuanos from Cebu provinces in the island, walk their way in the city streets to witness this festival; they walk the streets like armies of ants going to a grain of sugar. They walk to a certain convergence to make the event merrier and much more joyful to celebrate. Street dances, parades with flowers and percussions pounding, people drinking, singing, eating, jumping, cheering, and any gesture of sweet and ultimate celebration as if the city has won a war. With the sight of the people at the Sinulog, you just can’t take your eyes of it.

2.The Culture

The Sinulog festival began in 1980; since then, the tradition of merriment during this time of the year has always been the seventh heaven for the people experiencing it. Oh yes. This very day you can almost do whatever you want to do to enjoy; you can drink any alcohol and dance everywhere and sing at the top of your lungs, or just anything you can think of just to show and prove to yourself that you’re enjoying the festivity. But of course, guns and dr^gs are prohibited; ahmmm; however, contrary to what some say, acquaintances I met during the festival, that you can do dr@gs and bring them and use them with prudence.

Others said that even the police authorities won’t arrest you if you are caught bringing those with you as long as you don’t do unacceptable acts like violence or crimes. As if to say that everything is legal, even dr*gs, only on this very day of the Sinulog festival. I don’t know if this is true or not.

But I believe sexy scenes are allowed so long as they’re not beyond the moral standards. It should be discreet, of course. If people, especially girls, display some sexy and daring gestures, police just leave them that way, as long as they do it as a form of celebration and not as an immoral act.

3.The Girls

There is nothing greater site for men than a sight of a beautiful and sexy Cebuana walking the city streets with skimpy clothes. Oh yes. Most of the Cebuanas wear very short shorts and spaghetti when they walk the city streets to experience the event. They like it that way to show a sign of broad-mindedness of the Cebuanas. Other than the fact that Cebuanas are known for being practical and modern, they just love to expose their sexy bodies without malice, especially during an event like the Sinul0g Festival.

4.The Fireworks

One of the most pleasing scenes is the fireworks display up the vanilla sky at night. Different places in Cebu like Ayala Center Cebu, SM City Cebu, Crown Regency Hotel, and among other places, most are high-rise buildings across the city are sparking off fireworks display during the Sinulog. There are even fireworks competition held during the event. Many competitors from different parts of the country join this contest to prove their ingenuity in building excellent pyrotechnics.

So there you go the things that you will experience on the Sinulog 2012; the things that makes Sinulog Festival the number one festival in the country. If you want to check out the schedule of activities of the festival, you can click here. If you want to take a look of the Sinulog 2012 route maps, click this page.

Pit Senyor!

Listen to the original theme song of the Sinulog Festival below:

[Image credits: Chickinthetropics, Sinulog Official Website, Sky Experience, Cebuvacationrentals]

UPDATE January 4, 2012 10:14 PM –

Watch the video below and see how devoted Cebuanos are to the Sto. Nino. This took place last year on Sinulog 2011:

If you want to view the pictures I’ve taken during the Sinulog 2011, click this link: Sinulog 2011 Gallery. For the videos click this: Sinulog 2011.

UPDATE: January 18, 2013

Here is an awesome new video from cebuphilippinesnow YouTube channel about the awesomeness and the saucysomeness of the Sinulog Festival. View it now. Oh by the way, rhythm really really really starts from the heart. Wooooot! :-)

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What’s so interesting about the Kadayawan Festival?

There’s lots and lots and lots of interesting things about the Kadayawan festival. First is the name of the festival itself, KADAYAWAN. Even by hearing the word, it’s already interesting, isn’t it?

What more interesting is the meaning of the word. Kadayawan is derived from the word Madayaw, which means something positive or something great, something good, kind, virtuous, righteous, moral, nice, beautiful, magnificent, astonishing, amazing, incredible, exceptional, excellent, pretty, handsome, sexy, delicious, malasugicious, boombasticalicius, and all of other positive adjectives in the history of mankind.

Second is the festival itself that celebrates through street dancing on costumes, flower parades, playing games, singing, jumping, cheering, clapping, drinking, eating, cavorting, flirting, wooing, and lots and lots of human activities that concern happiness and enjoyment.

Then the people. If you visit the Kadayawan Festival 2011 in Davao, you will see lots and lots of people witnessing the festival; my estimation is about 500,000. I’m not so sure because I haven’t counted them. But it is sure to be fun because Dabawenyos are really warm people and very, very beautiful people. And imagine there are really 500,000 of them. I know they are also ugly people, probably also amounted to 500,000, but as far as my humble eyes are concerned, well, the majority are beautiful. Really. I’m not kidding. Promise.

Next is the exhibition of the original products of Davao, its tourism and some island souvenirs. You can also find some brochures and lots and lots of promotional stuffs about Samal Island. In addition, exotic flowering plants are also being displayed during the festival, including some strange-looking plants that look like of those from planet mars.

What else? Oh. The important thing. The history of Davao. You got to know the Davao history otherwise you’ll never understand the festival. You’ll never understand why people are dancing, cheering, drinking, smoking, eating, etc. if you don’t read and ponder the Davao history. If you want to read a very valuable literature about the Davao history you can check out this page: Davao History. Or if you’re too lazy to click that link, here is what you should read:

“The name Davao was derived from a combination of words spoken by three Bagobo groups with reference to naming the Davao River and in regard with calling a land that is above grounds. The Bagobo group Obos call the Davao river Davoh, while the Clattas call it Davau or Duhwow , Tagabawa Bagobos call it Dabu. The word Duhwow also means a trade where settlers exchange their goods with salt and other basic commodities.

There never was a Spanish influence in Davao City up until 1848, when Don Jose Uyanguren came to the city to institute a Christian community in the mangrove swamps area, which is now called the Bolton Riverside.

In 1900 when the American forces came to the city, farm lands developed, as well as the communication and transportation. In 1903 a Japanese businessman named Kichisaburo was authorized to use vast areas in the city to turn into coconut and abaca plantations. This then the settlers, people from different parts of the country, learned livelihood such as the cultivation techniques taught by the Japanese. Davao then became more and more developed as years went by.

In October 16, 1936, the province of Davao was inaugurated by President Manuel Quezon as a chartered city. In 1941, Davao was occupied by the Japanese soldiers during World War II, but was then recovered by American and Philippine Commonwealth forces in 1945.

1967 was the time when the province of Davao subdivided into 3 different provinces: Davao Del Sur, Davao del Norte, and Davao Oriental. Davao became the regional capital of the Southern Mindanao in 1970’s and the Davao Regions’ regional capital.

With this colorful history, Davao is now one of the numerous cities in the country that are not dependent of any province. Today, Davao city is the tourism and business hub in the whole Southern Philippines.”

What’s more interesting than that? So there you go. These are the interesting things about the Kadayawan Festival! Happy Kadayawan Festival to all! Kamadayaway Kadi! :-)

(Stay tune for updates about the schedule of activities and events of the Kadayawan Festival 2011. Woot)

[Image Credit: Rhonson Ng]

74th Araw ng Dabaw Versus Sinulog 2011

This is not a competition nor deliberating comparison between Cebu and Davao. This is just an exhibit on how these two great cities celebrate their festivals. This is just a description or an observation, or we can call it a review, based on what I had experienced on these two festivals this year. The title was just a teaser, my way of enticing visitors to read this post, so I made a bit controversial. hehe.:-)

The 74th Araw ng Dabaw began yesterday. I was there and have seen and heard the memorable scenes and sounds. I felt comfortable when I was covering this festival yesterday. Because I don’t need to look for a decent point to click my camera to the parade and dances. The roads or the streets were not tight. Even there were a great number of people witnessing the event, still there were vacant areas wherein you can watch the parade clearly without being bumped. There were even no ropes at each side of the road. So you can go even at the middle of the street to take a closer capture of the ceremony. This was what I liked about the yesterday Araw ng Dabaw, the accessibility of the spectacle.

Second was the organization of the parade. There was order of each contingent moving forward, not to mention the tight security in every street corner (and oh, these securities were also participating in the parade). Third is the appreciation of the crowd, perhaps some of whom are from the Davao provinces, Davao Del Sur and Davao Del Norte. Also I like the stimulated cooperation of almost all of the public and private sectors in the parade. I have to mention the MNLF contingent, which I found surprising. I didn’t expect that the Moro National Liberation Front would participate in the festival despite the differences of dispositions and principles with the government. Such unity and peace the Araw ng Dabaw has brought to the people in Mindanao.

Well, anyway, from all these observations, let me show you what my eyes have seen yesterday on Araw ng Dabaw. So for those who were not present on Araw ng Dabaw yesterday, here are some photos and videos that you can settle on and see for yourself what you can say about:

Now, let’s talk about the Sinulog, which happened on January 16 this year. The Sinulog Festival 2011 was more than what I should have expected. I didn’t watch the parade in 2008 on the streets. I didn’t walk with the people swarming from different areas in the city. In 2009, I walked with the spectators but didn’t watch the parade. I was hurrying from Ayala to Robinson’s in Fuente to get to my destination, a place where me and my friends would meet. Missing the Sinulog 2010, this year I walked from Asilo to Mango with my girlfriend to purposely witness and cover the parade.

So I was greeted with a sea of people walking from some areas to a certain convergence, which I didn’t have any idea where that was because almost all areas in the city were crowded with a swarm of human beings, witnessing, cheering, screaming, and just walking and walking until they get to a destination nowhere, or until they get tired and find a place to sit and eat or drink some beer perhaps.

What I like most about the Sinulog Festival was the energy of the parade, the never ending sound of percussions and the Sinulog Theme Song anywhere you go. Not only the parade but also the intensity of the people watching it. The only uncomfortable thing was that you can’t get a decent location to witness the ceremony unless you come early for you to vacate the bleachers or occupy the areas near the ropes. So, every click of my cam (not cam but a cellphone cam, I didn’t have my best friend Sony yet at that time) was not so close, and didn’t have proper angles for captures.

Even so, this is what makes the Sinulog Festival exciting, the overwhelming crowd; the bumping, the pushing, and the cramming. You won’t mind the shoves and the bumps because you’re not alone with this kind of awkwardness. You are all experiencing the same, you are all enjoying, otherwise you wouldn’t walk by these overcrowded streets if you don’t want to be bumped or shoved. It’s in the shoving that makes the Sinulog Festival fun. I’m not talking about harassments and stampedes. That’s another story.

Anyway, the energy of all the spectators and the parade what admired me most. You just can’t escape it. There is a place called Baseline, wherein well-off teenagers and college students on their most fashionable clothes, exhibiting their utmost presence by jumping, cheering, clanking bottles of beers. Even an introvert person can’t get away with it.

So here are the sights and sounds of the Sinulog Festival 2011 I had covered. Bear with the quality of the photos because I used a Samsung Corby and a Motorola cellphone in capturing photos and videos. And also, as what I’ve said, I couldn’t find a decent location for better captures. They are visible and audible anyway. So here are they. Enjoy:

The Sinulog Festival 2011 had an estimated 3.5 Million visitors. While Sinulog 2010 had 8 Million visitors. I still don’t have the figures yet on the 74th Araw ng Dabaw. Cheers! :-) Rock on Cebu and Davao! :-)

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