Sinulog Festival 2015: Lifting our faith and our feet in tune to the beat!

Dancing ants
Dancing ants

First, there’s the Pope’s visit. Then, the Sinulog festival…

This isn’t just gonna re-spring our step; it’s also gonna give our faith some revitalizing pigment. The Sinulog is a colorful festival that originated from Carmen, a province situated in the northern part of Cebu. How I knew this had nothing to do with heritage or historical study; I just happen to have a friend who lived there and who happen to love pinpointing the origin of this province-to-city craze. 😉

choose the right sneaks
choose the right sneaks

The route from home to the main street isn’t always easy. You could either take the jeepney or cabby; but the point is, they can’t drop you to the exact scene. So, you ought to prepare your feet for some walking (and in some cases, shoving). Bring the things you can’t live without, but keep the sack light. Also, you can’t do more with jewelries or flashy watches or you’ll end up losing them to some thief. 😦

The first float
The first float

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The Sinulog festival is a great time to celebrate the arrival of one of the most important image of Cebuano faith: the little Sto. Niño. Various themes are infused in the dance, in the beat, even in costumes or gigantic floats; yet, to complete the cycle of celebration or re-connection of our past to our present, these variations were designed to ‘route back’ to that special ‘arrival’.

Some of the contingents
Some of the contingents

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So who gets to join the dance competition? Different contingents flock to Cebu, competing under such categories: interpretative dance, street dance, and more. These folks came from various provinces — within and outside Cebu. Dancers in particular come from elementary and high schools. To fuel their travel, food, props, costumes, and other finances, contingents gather support from different sponsors.

popping colors in props and costumes; tired yet still-smiling -- these scenes will greet you right at the street!
popping colors in props and costumes; tired yet still-smiling — these scenes will greet you right at the street!

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Your eyes will feast in color. 😀

Another remarkable thing that floods around this festivity is empathy. I don’t eavesdrop but with you in the ropes (that serve to “divide” spectators from performers), you can’t help but hear things. Someone made a comment about the costumes being uncomfortable. Others rant about the long walk and dance and heat that these young dancers endure. Of course these conditions are addressed by providing props-people to cart and wheel the props around. Refreshments are made available, and a vehicle for heat-defeated folks are prepped at the tail of each contingent.

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Ants, conquer!
Ants, conquer!

It’s impossible not to have any favorite among all these dancers. Mine was the ant-dancers of Don Vicente Rama Memorial Elementary School. Such a mouthful name, but cool dancing ants none the same! The concept meant to depict the diligence of ants. In some children’s story, ants gather together to store food (while the other character, a grasshopper, lazily lounged in the grass). Come stormy winds and flood, yet the ants did fine, because they’ve prepped, right?

The Holy Child
The Holy Child

It’s ironic that while we stomp our feet to the beat, and chant ‘Viva, viva Pit Senyor!’, the celebrated Child is silent.

Perhaps, He’s not just atop those flowers or float vehicles; He’s probably with us. He could be that kid whose face and shirt was painted with paint powder, whose equally painted hands sought to pull the tail of my shirt to move his way along the ropes. At the end of our street rendezvous, I ended up squeamish over his hands’ imprint on my white shirt. Argh…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Re-springing Your Step.”


10 thoughts on “Sinulog Festival 2015: Lifting our faith and our feet in tune to the beat!

  1. This is the first time I heard that the Sinulog originates from Carmen. Thanks for that bit of FYI. Devout Catholics from my place flock to Cebu every third weekend of January to participate in this religious festival. Somehow, they show up at work on Monday with full energy and renewed faith.

    Liked by 1 person

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