The well-known Sinulog festival is coming up and everyone in Cebu is getting ready for that big day right after the holiday season is over. Sinulog is celebrated every third Sunday of January and when this happens, millions of people from all over the country as well as tourists flock to Cebu to witness the grand parade composed of large floats and contingents from the different schools and companies in the city.
Festivals are celebrated in thanksgiving and honor of the city’s patron saint. The Philippines love celebrating different festivals in different parts of the archipelago in different months of the year. To name a few, Baguio City celebrates Panagbenga Festival, Bacolod City celebrates Masskara Festival, Iloilo City celebrates Dinagyang Festival, Davao City celebrates the Kadayawan Festival, and Bohol celebrates Sandugo Festival. Of all the festivals in the Philippines, Sinulog is one of the most popular.
During Sinulog in Cebu, the Cebuanos honor the feast of the child Jesus, Sto. Niño. Residents of Cebu believe that the child Jesus has protected the province from calamities and natural disasters. To show their gratitude to the Sto. Niño, several devotees go to mass at the Sto. Niño church then they join a Fluvial Parade in the morning and a Solemn Procession in the afternoon on the eve of Sinulog to express their faith and devotion.
There are two sides to all festivals in the Philippines, especially with Sinulog – the merrymaking and the religious side. The Sinulog celebration kicks off with a nine day novena and millions of devotees from all over the country join this novena and attend the religious activities in the event. Because all devotees of the Sto. Niño are welcome in Cebu in this special day of festivity, the Cebu City government has made it a point that all pilgrims who have no money to spend for accommodation will stay at the Devotee City.
All hotels, inns, pension houses, apartelles, and guesthouses are fully booked during this time, so it is a good idea to book two months in advance. You can make use of online accommodation booking websites or search engines to find the most suitable lodging for you. If you know some friends or family members who reside in Cebu, it is best to let them know you are coming over; who knows, they might offer you a place to stay and you can end up saving thousands of pesos.
The next day after the solemn celebration is when the entire city is in revelry. As early as 6 in the morning, people march to the streets and find the best place to stay in during the parade. By 9 o’clock, the streets are crowded with people and no vehicles are allowed. Parties are everywhere and there are huge floats, some even have celebrities and politicians riding on them.
The street parade starts from Mango Avenue until Abellana Sports Center in Jones Avenue. Rain or shine, these dancers put a smile on their face and give their best performance for the millions of onlookers. While these dancers vie for the best costume, best performance, and other awards, there are also professional and amateur photographers aiming to get the best shots so they can submit the photos in contests and make a name for themselves.
Some may ask, “What makes the Sinulog Festival successful?”
One major factor is the faith the Cebuano people have. Sinulog takes months of planning and this doesn’t just apply to the event organizers, but the schools and companies who have contingents as well. They practice their dance moves while the band practices day and night, they also design the costumes and have them custom-made. Creating the props and the parade float also takes a lot of hard work.
Although there are a lot of people taking part in the partying after the grand parade, the people do not forget the fundamental nature of celebrating the feast of the child Jesus. The day after Sinulog is a holiday in Metro Cebu. Those from the provinces who took part in the grand parade also get a day off. Some visitors and tourists extend their stay in Cebu while others make plans on traveling to a neighboring province, Bohol. There are a number of Bohol tours available, like the Bohol countryside tour.
Bohol is the 10th largest island in the Philippines and since it is just adjacent to Cebu, tourists and travelers can book fast craft tickets to Tagbilaran City. Bohol offers a number of accommodations if you plan on staying for a few days. However, there are also some visitors who just prefer the day tour from the other Bohol tour packages. They arrive in Bohol in the morning, have the tour, and head back to Cebu in the afternoon.
If there is a driver in the group, another option is to get a Bohol car rental and drive around and do the exploring yourselves. With all the places to see, though, there is definitely a long list of wonderful tourist spots to go to. A day won’t be enough to tour the beautiful resorts alone. Aside from the pristine white sand beaches the island offers, other places to visit are diving spots, restaurants that serve native delicacies, caves, waterfalls, landmarks, and historical places.
Most Bohol tours include the Chocolate Hills in their itinerary. This famous landmark makes Bohol different from the other islands in the Philippines. Bohol is also known for their diving spots, scenic water views, and river cruises. The most popular cruises are the Laoay Cruise and the Loboc River Cruise.
Other great places to visit are the butterfly sanctuary and the tarsier. Any Bohol tours package is incomplete if the tarsiers are not part of it. These cute little monkeys can bring smiles to tourists’ faces and they can only be found at Bohol’s natural reserves. The largest python in captivity, Prony, is another creature that should be paid a visit.
Dolphin watching, whale watching, and snorkeling are some of the common water adventures you can do in Bohol. If you want to take a trip down history lane, the Blood Compact Site, Maribojoc Bell Tower, and Baclayon Church are great places to visit. Bohol is an amazing island with a lot of adventures to offer and if you thirst for more adventure after Cebu’s Sinulog, visit Bohol and contact Wow Bohol Tours for the best and cheapest Bohol tours packages.