Final Sinulog act: Grand parade | Inquirer News

Final Sinulog act: Grand parade

By: - Senior Reporter / @inquirervisayas
/ 05:04 AM January 20, 2019

STAR OF THE SHOW Señor Sto. Niño de Cebu, the representation of the Child Jesus, is the star of Sinulog festivities that Cebu City is celebrating every January. —LITO TECSON/CEBU DAILY NEWS

CEBU CITY — Buntings are hanging along the streets and festive music is blaring continuously.

Cebu City has been transformed into a colorful, giant stage for today’s one big fiesta celebration with the Sinulog Grand Parade 2019.


More than a million people are expected to pack the 6-kilometer route of the Sinulog Grand Parade to watch contingents compete in the dancing, puppeteers, “higantes” and floats categories.


The parade kicks off at 9 a.m. on Imus Avenue and may end at 6 p.m. at Cebu City Sports Center.

For those who look forward to getting intoxicated while watching the street spectacle, forget it. Like last year, drinking of alcoholic beverages along the route will be strictly prohibited from 6 a.m. today to 6 a.m. the next day.

“This will be the strictest Sinulog ever because there is a risk and because the trend shows that it is going to get worse [this year],” Mayor Tomas Osmeña said.

Violators will be detained in makeshift cells, while erring establishments within a 300-meter radius from the parade will be shut down,  Osmeña warned.

FAITH The rituals in honor of Señor Sto. Niño is a demonstration of faith of Cebuanos. —LITO TECSON/CEBU DAILY NEWS

Show of faith

The mayor’s directive aims to prevent stampedes like what happened in 2017. More importantly, however, it helps put focus on what is being celebrated — the feast of the Holy Child Jesus.


Devotion to the Child Jesus has not dwindled over the years, according to Fr. Pacifico Nohara Jr., rector of the centuries-old Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.

It is “a gesture of faith that we all cherish,” Nohara said.

“And year after year, our celebration in honor of Señor Sto. Niño, our traditional Sinulog dances, our processions, our rituals and ceremonies should make us grow in faith and love as well as make us witnesses of the Gospel and participants in the Church’s mission,” he said.

The Sinulog Grand Parade is the culmination of 11 days of festivities that kicked off with a 2-km procession called “Walk with Jesus,” a penitential foot procession from Fuente Osmeña to the basilica.

RELIGIOUS FEAST Sinulog is one of the grandest religious celebrations in the country, with the parade on the third Sunday of January stretching to about 10 hours. —JUNJIE MENDOZA/CEBU DAILY NEWS

Religious events

A sea of candlelight brightened the length of Osmeña Boulevard as the image of the Sto. Niño de Cebu was displayed during the procession.

Dawn processions and 11 daily Masses were held at Pilgrim Center leading to the feast of the Sto. Niño.

Last Friday, the images of the Child Jesus and the Our Lady of Guadalupe were transferred from the basilica to National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City.

At 2 a.m. the next day, Mass was celebrated at National Shrine of St. Joseph before the images were transported in a motorcade to Nuestra Señora de Regla Parish National Shrine in Lapu-Lapu City for the 4 a.m. Mass.

The images were later brought to Muelle Osmeña for the start of the fluvial procession along the Mactan Channel to Cebu City before the Sto. Niño and the Our Lady of Guadalupe were returned to the basilica.

In the afternoon, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma carried the processional image of the Sto. Niño to the “carroza” to mark the start of the religious event.

Bells at the centuries-old church pealed as the carroza, or carriage, bearing the Sto. Niño image emerged from the basilica’s courtyard, escorted by priests, at 1 p.m.

There was no fireworks display following an appeal from Augustinian priests in charge of the basilica to maintain the solemnity of the event and for public safety.

On the feast day of the Holy Child Jesus, Palma will preside over a pontifical Mass at 6 a.m. at Pilgrim Center.

RELIGIOUS FEAST Sinulog is one of the grandest religious celebrations in the country, with the parade on the third Sunday of January stretching to about 10 hours. —JUNJIE MENDOZA/CEBU DAILY NEWS

Dancing contingents

Alongside the church-led activities is the Sinulog Grand Parade.

At least 24 dancing contingents will compete in the free interpretation and Sinulog-based categories. Winners will take home P1 million each.

One of the crowd favorites, which already won 12 times, will not be competing and but will appear as guest.

Councilor Dave Tumulak, overall chair of the executive committee of the Sinulog Foundation Inc., said Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe of Tangub City in Misamis Occidental province would perform to pay homage to the Sto. Niño.

Another favorite, Alay Performing Arts of Liloy town in Zamboanga del Norte province, will return as contestant after a seven-year absence.

One group to look forward to is the guest contingent from South Korea—Wonju Dynamic Dancing Carnival.

YOUTH ENERGY Students from Cebu’s high schools bring energy to the Sinulog Grand Parade. —CHOY ROMANO/CEBU DAILY NEWS

Floats and fireworks

More floats will be participating today.

“We have 39 floats this year, excluding floats from sponsors. Last year (Sinulog 2018), we only had 35,” Tumulak said.

For the first time, the Sinulog Grand Parade will end with a five-minute show of musical fireworks inside the sports center. This is on top of a synchronized fireworks display hosted by three large malls.

“The synchronized fireworks will also go together with the musical fireworks display,” Tumulak said.

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Indeed, this is one way of ending the festivities with a bang. —With reports from Morexette Marie Eram, Doris Mae Mondragon and Nestle Semilla

SEA OF NIÑO Devotees carrying images of the Child Jesus pack Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño in Cebu City to attend the first novena Mass leading to the feast of the Child Jesus this year. —JUNJIE MENDOZA

TAGS: Grand Parade

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