Sinulog Festival – The Philippines Mother Of All Festivals

Celebrating The Philippines Mother of all festivals celebrated every third of January in Cebu City, Philippines

Cebu City, Philippines – Celebrating the Philippines mother of all festivals which is celebrated every third Sunday of January.


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Watch this short documentary film about the history of the Sinulog festival or so called Sinug in the old days with only 17,868 views Youtube. The view  count is too low compared to the number of people joined the actual parade.

Sinulog ug ang Santo Niño
(Watch the full episode on youtube)
kabilin sugbu

Sinulog Experience

In the year 1998 was my first ever to have joined the Sinulog Grand Parade representing the University of Cebu choreographed and headed by Mr. Paul Delgado with months of preparations.

The Preparation

Starting first week of September 4 months before the Grand Parade. Practice session took place every weekends, Saturday and Sunday, a two week long of body conditioning from basic exercise to basic Sinulog dance steps little-by-little.  In the month of November to December we then master and polish our ritual and the street dance where we get spend our Christmas vacation on practice and Props making and some other tweaks on the stepping and formation.

First Dance Performance

Each year the University of Cebu is scheduled to offer a mass and a Sinulog dance performance every third week of January at the Basilica Minore Del Santo Niño quadrangle. You can never tell exactly what the feeling is, when you are there. All you got to think is the dance steps, formation and how will you dance with the space provided and get along to dance with a marble flooring while its raining. You’ll surely stumble and fall. It was quite an experience to me! but that is fine no judges around.

The Grand Parade

On the third Sunday of January the long month of preparation is put into the test. As early as 1 O’clock in the morning everybody is getting ready to be dispatch in our designated areas for the Grand Parade.

The excitement to offer a dance and praise to our beloved Senyor Santo Niño. It is a prayer, a sacrifice in the form of dancing, to offer ourselves and dance with all of our hearts for we do not expect about winning the Sinulog Mardi Gras are some of the few words taught by Sir Paul right from the start to remind us why we are doing this.

The Miracle

I believe that their is miracle happening during the mardi gra. Imagine this, the mardi gra is participated mostly by high school and college students and some of which are even younger. At their age I don’t think that they can handle stress.

Notice during the parade you can never see on their faces getting tired despite of being sleepless, dancing the whole day under the heat of the sun is not part of the training (As far as I can remember, we never undergone any medical checkups during our days.), instead you see them smiling and that smile never fades throughout the parade.

The Faith and Courage

A true story that needs to be told during 2015 Sinulog Grand Parade. I volunteered to be part of the Sinulog crowd control personnel under Magdalo Organization assigned along  Osmeña Boulevard Harrison Park Cebu. I noticed a Higante participant acting very unusual which I think to be a drunk man carrying the Higante. So then I called up two of my colleagues to check and verify it. To my surprise we found out to be an old man carrying those heavy loads. He look so very tired that He carried it alone from Robinson’s Fuente Osmeña circle area, that’s about 800 meters away from Harrison Park. I ask the man if he is alone. He answered me that “He has two other friends with him but they left and never came back, They said that they will only need to get some food and water.

Meanwhile, We offered him a bottle of water and some food while he is being interviewed by a freelance photographer and later found out that the old man is from Labangon. He does join Sinulog each year with his Higante entry as an offering to Senyor Santo Niño. I asked the man for the last time if He can still make it through the Grand Stage and replied “Yes!” but I think He can’t do it alone. So, We carried his Higante with my 2 other colleagues all the way through Abellana National High School but 1 of our colleague left us half way.

It’s not a joke. it was too heavy that you can ever imagine. We are having a hard time walking and carrying those with less vision. Upon entering the Abellana National High School. I tried to talk to the officers in-charge and told them about the situation just to let us in. While our ID’s is only limited in the parade route only but not inside the Grand Stage.

While we are inside the Grand Stage Area. I asked the man again if He can manage it by himself across the Grand Stage? again He replied “Yes!” but I am not really too confident with it if He really can. I called an ROTC officer and asked him a favor to assists the man carry his Higante across the stage. Without any hesitations. He then hurriedly called a few cadets to assists.

And so He made it through the stage but I left right after then, since I need to report back in our command posts. I had a mixed of emotions looking back but I feel so happy to have helped the old man and the last few words that is keep coming back into my mind is that He will still be doing it every Sinulog.

The story that you’ve read is not fictional but a true story that I have encountered during last year’s Sinulog.

Happy Fiesta Senyor! Viva Pit Senyor!


I have no connection with 8thumbs Video and Post Production nor promoting any of their services. I found this video to be meaningful and that should be shared for educational purposes. Video credits to 8thumbs Video and Post Production – The 2008 Sinulog Festival Short Film Contests.