Bright colors. Exciting revelry. Loud beats. All these elements are just a few of the things people love about the annual Sinulog festival, a holy celebration observed by the people of Cebu. The big highlight of this event is the Sinulog parade, well known for the flashy costumes worn by dancers who move to the beat of the drums.
Today, the festival is known to be a religious undertaking by the Cebuanos to celebrate the Sto. Nino (the image of the child Jesus), but historians believed it had it was more pagan in origin before the arrival of Magellan and the Spanish troops. The dance, however, is also said to have linked our deep past with our religious present. Even the Sto. Nino that is revered during this festival was part of the religious conversion of the Filipino’s early pagan ancestors. Early Filipinos were very fond of idols and carvings, so magellan thought a religious statue would make a fitting gift to the Raja’s queen.
As for the dance moves that follow through the beat of the drums, it is said resembles the current (Sulog) of what was then known as Cebu's Pahina River. So the movements of the dance during the parade are reminiscent to the flow of a river. This led to the creation of the festival’s name, ‘Sinulog’, which is still used and widely known throughout the Philippines even today.
With a few changes, the festival has evolved into what Cebuanos currently celebrate to this day: a multicolored whirlwind of fun and beats! People from within and outside the country can’t help but be drawn in by the revelry and take part of such lively festivities!