December 9, 2023


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Scene and Be Seen: Sinulog is the grandest and most festive fiesta celebration

Pit Senyor!!!

Sinulog is here, and there is no stopping it, neither hail nor rain and not even the threat of a coming tropical depression looming over the horizon.
The Sinulog grand celebration is a week long, city-wide frenzy of festivities in the Queen City of the South, Cebu City. As pockets of communities all over the city celebrate and honor the image of the child Jesus, local and foreign tourists from all over flock towards Cebu and join in on the revelries. The Sinulog season officially starts during the first day of the novena. During the early years of the Sinulog, the entire affair was basically confined within the Catholic community of Cebu but now, thirty years later, Sinulog has transcended into a multi-secular, multi-racial celebration. It has become a symbol of faith, of love and unity.
The Chinese traders who came to the Philippines were not Christians and they did not believe in the Sto. Niňo or any of the Catholic Saints for that matter. But eventually they caught on and even made their own version of the image of the Child Jesus with a green colored dress symbolizing good luck and favor for business. Green is supposed to be the color of money or abundance and so they started dressing the Sto. Niňo green hoping for their business to prosper and their fortunes abundant.
Even our Muslim brothers and sisters participate by cashing in on the celebration seizing the opportunity to sell merchandise. They may not believe in the Sto. Niňo as their God but they see the power of the Sto. Niňo and believe as a symbol of unity that can bring together all people from all walks of life in one feverish grand celebration brought together by some inexplicable force and undeniable belief.
Today, regardless of race, age, religion or culture, the Sinulog celebration is for everyone to partake in. One beat, one dance, one vision.
So if you are here in Cebu right now and plan to join in on the massive, miraculous merriment you will have to do some research to maximize your Sinulog experience.
Sinulog Friday, Sinulog Saturday and Sinulog Sunday, those are the three most important dates of the Sinulog Fiesta Season. This year 2019, Sinulog weekend will start on Friday, January 18 which marks the start of the festivities and the entire Metro Cebu will be buzzing with activities. There will be a procession, Walk with Mary is an early dawn walk from Fuente Osmeňa Circle to the Basilica.
Saturday, January 19 will be the Traslacion and Fluvial Parade.
The miraculous image of the Sto. Niňo, the original wooden statue with clothing and ornaments that devotees believe to have come from Spain and was given to Rajah Jumabon by Ferdinand Magellan himself, will travel from its home, the Basilica to the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City then to the National Shrine of Nuestra Seňora Virgen de la Regla, Lapu-lapu City.
The sendoff rites will follow after the 2:00 am mass early morning on Saturday. The image will then be transported with a sea of followers and faithful believers at its heels from Mandaue to Lapu-lapu.
The fluvial parade then commences. From Lapu-lapu, a parade of boats and maritime vessels and hopefully a working replica of Magellan’s Galleon will traverse the strait of Mactan all the way back to Pier One.
Holy masses will be celebrated in all venues, 2:00 am in Mandaue, 4:00 am in Lapu-lapu and 5:30 am and 7:00 am in the Santo Niňo Pilgrim Center.
When the Sto. Niňo arrives back at the Basilica, a re-enactment of the First Mass, First Wedding and Baptism will be featured for all to see.
In the afternoon, the solemn procession around Cebu City’s central area will take place.
Sunday is the Grand Parade, the mardi gras, the piece de resistance, the pinnacle of the week’s revelry. Floats, dancers and giants will parade the streets of Cebu and showcase their interpretation of the Sinulog dance. The contingents will proceed to Abellana Stadium for the final dance showdown.
Sinulog is not just for the privilege few who can afford to pay exuberant entrance fees, overpriced drinks and overrated food, Sinulog is for everyone. So regardless of your income level or social status, Cebu has something for you.
Here is a list of activities that you may want to join depending on how much you are willing to shell out to have a crazy, good time. You don’t have to spend much to have fun, even if you have the resources. If you opt to save your money and go to a less expensive venue, that is totally up to you. What is important is you will be with your friends, your family and those who want to be a part of the celebration as much as you.
This table consists basically of the dates, the venues and the price range one generally needs to attend each event.
Date / Day
Name of Event
Where and What Time
What to expect
How much
Friday, Jan 18
Walk With Mary Solemn Procession
Assembly time 3:30 am at Fuente Osmeňa Circle, procession starts at 4:00 am
For devotees and the faithful who wish to participate in the procession from Fuente to the Basilica
Rock Out: A Sinulog Special
MAC Rock & Roll Blues Restobar, Ezone, Cabahug St. Mabolo, 9pm
Grunge, rock & heavy metal bands from Cebu (not for the faint of heart)
Free admission
Vudu Sinulog 2019
The Henry Hotel
1 Paseo Saturnino, Ma. Luisa Entrance Banilad, 9pm
Classic house anthems, RnB Soul, Funk and Techno music by Cebu’s pioneering DJ’s from the hey-days of Vudu Lounge. This party is mostly for the sosy tito’s and tita’s of Cebu
Go to the official Facebook page for table reservation and other information
Coke Studio Concert
Plaza De La Independencia, Cebu Port Area,
Interactive booths, music festival and party program featuring local artists like Shanti Dope
Free (and with tons of giveaways)
Kapuso Fiesta
Ayala Terraces, Cebu Business Park, 6pm
Variety Show with artists from GMA Network
Free admission
House-Kissed Music Festival
SM Seaside Cebu Concert Grounds, gate opens at 2pm
A very unique, high tech festive celebration featuring UV face paints, hologram lights and music accompanied fireworks
Log on to the SM tickets website to purchase tickets P870 Gen Adm
P1,320 VIP with lounge and table
Saturday, Jan 19
Mandaue to Lapu-Lapu City 2am
Fluvial Parade
Mandani Bay, North Reclamation, Cebu Port Area, 6am
First Mass Re-enactment
Sto. Niňo Pilgrimage Center, 9am
A play that tells the story of Rajah Jumabon and Reyna Juana during Magellan’s time in Cebu
Nation Fest 2019
Liv Super Club, City Time Square, Hernan Cortes Ave Mandaue, 9pm
House party, dance and funk by world renowned super star DJ’s
For table reservations and tickets, contact Liv
Sinulog 2019 Rocks with BLEED
Handuraw Pizza Mango Square, 10pm
Rock with Glam Rock artist BLEED
Free admission
Rooftop Rave at Twilight Roofdeck Lounge + Bar
Bai Hotel, Mandaue 6pm
Rave party music with Cebu’s hottest DJ’s
For table reservations contact bai Hotel
Music Lab: Acoustic Picks
Handuraw Pizza Mango, 8pm
Acoustic renditions of your favorite hits, a slow and chill celebration for tito’s and tita’s of Cebu
Free admission
Illuminate: Roof Deck Party
Maayo Hotel, Plaridel St., Mandaue City, 8pm
Dance party with Sinulog face paint and tribal tattoo theme night
P300 inclusive of one drink and free face paint
Sunday, January 20
Sinulog Grand Parade
Click here for official map of the grand parade route, bleachers are open to the public with first come first serve basis:




Red Hot Sinulog, party and Firework show
Cebu Business Park, 9pm
Sponsored by Air Asia, party program includes  KZ Tandindan and Maja Salvador
Free admission
MixLAB Cebu x Rhipstop Spectrum
City Times Square, 8pm
House and Techno Music, the 2nd Sinulog episode presented by Cebu Underground Movement
Free admission

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