10 Remarkable Facts About Sinulog
Sinulog, Cebu’s biggest and most popular festival, is celebrated every third Sunday of January. It is to honor the Catholic Church’s Santo Niño de Cebu. This festival is characterized by a very long parade with many groups of persons dressed in colorful costumes while dancing Sinulog through the streets.
The following are 10 remarkable facts about Sinulog:
1. Sinulog comes from the Cebuano word “sulog,” a term which describes the back-and-forth movement of water currents.
2. The Sinulog expression “Viva Pit Senyor” means “Long live, call on to the Lord.”
3. The Sinulog celebration lasts for nine days, culminating on the final day with the Sinulog grand parade.
4. The Cebuano greeting“Pit Senyor!” is short for “Panangpit sa Senyor!” which means a plea to the Lord, the Señor Santo Niño (Holy Child), whose feast is observed during Sinulog.
5. Sinulog dance steps originated from the story in which Rajah Humabon’s adviser, Baladhay became ill and was thus brought to a chapel where the Sto. Niño was enthroned. Baladhay was heard shouting shortly after. When asked to explain, he said that he was awaken for the image of the Sto. Niño was on top of him trying to wake him up. He, nonetheless, could not explain why he was dancing as if mimicking the movement of the river, which became the traditional steps for the Sinulog festival.
6. Sinulog has become one of the grandest, most distinguished and most colorful festivals in the Philippines.
7. It is supposed that the Sinulog was danced by the natives every year since the arrival of Magellan in 1521. But the festival was held in honor of the Santo Niño, and no longer of wooden idols.
8. On the Sinulog feast day, a Pontifical Mass is celebrated at the Basilica by the Cardinal assisted by several Cebu bishops. Many Cebuanos would flock to the Basilica to attend the mass before heading out to the streets to watch the Parade.
9. The patron saint of Cebu City, the Sto. Niño, was a gift of Portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to Hara Amihan, wife of Rajah Humabon. Amihan took a new name Queen Juana upon her baptismal (April 7).
10. The first procession of the image of Santo Niño happened in the Tupas village in 1565. The image was identified by the Legazpi expedition as the same image given by Ferdinand Magellan to the Cebuanos and their queen, Juana, in 1521 when the first Spanish expedition to that part of the world found Cebu.
Sinulog is one of the biggest festivals in the Philippines. Devotees come to celebrate the festival. Full of ritual, it typifies the Catholic faith in the Philippines. Sinulog is thus very Catholic.
About the author:
Jaynie Ann Llames, the contributor, graduated from Bicutan Parochial School and is currently taking up Bachelor of Science in Psychology in a university in Metro Manila. (Facebook account: jaynieann.llames.com)
Question for discussion:
Is celebrating Catholic festivals advantageous or disadvantageous? Defend your answer.
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Tags: Philippine Studies, It’s more fun in the Philippines, Social Studies, History, Travel, Tourism, Sociology, Social Sciences
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