What is Sinulog?

Cebu (aka ‘Sugbo‘) is a historical province of the Philippines.  Also known as the Queen City of the South, important landmarks and festivals that entail stories of the past is nothing new to the history-filled Sugbo.

The Sinulog Festival, being one of the most admirable and grand festivals in the Philippines, boasts a parade of flashing colors, dancing, fun and talent.  The Cebu Sinulog Celebration bears the Cebuano pride and is a great means of experiencing the city’s people and culture.

But how did Sinulog Sugbo all start?

Many believe that the name of the festival – “Sinulog” comes from the Visayan term “Sug” or “Sulog” that translates to “flowing water” or  “current”(water) in English. “Sinug” is also considered to be another Cebuano term for the feast wherein ‘L’ is not enunciated  – a common thing in the Cebuano language especially in the city.  The distinguished Philippine’ Festival is basically a dance ritual that involves a ‘two steps forward, two steps forward’ foot work.

This annual feast is celebrated every January to commemorate Cebu’s irreligious origin and its acknowledgement of Christianity, specifically Roman Catholicism.

According to Estelita ‘Titang’ Diola, who is known and believed to be the keeper of Sinulog’s distinctive dance steps and beat, the original Sinulog Celebration consisted of a ritual that portrayed the division and rivalry of the Muslims and the Christians that sooner became united with the help and of Señor Sto. Niño.

The devotion of the people to Señor Sto. Niño has grown throughout the years and the celebration has also evolved into more than just being about devotion although faith is still the core  ground of the whole event.  Sinulog has become a grand event that showcases culture to help boost tourism in the city/province as well.  The fact remains though that there is more to just the showcase and the popularity of the festival.  The significance of the dance and the entire event is mainly a tribute to the people’s love and gratitude to Sr. Sto. Niño.

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