SINULOG GRAND PARADE

Posted: August 24, 2012 in Blog, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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SINULOG GRAND PARADE

The Sinulog is an annual festival held on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City, Philippines. The dance moves to the sound of the drums and this resembles the “like water current movement“ (Sinulog) of what was then known as Cebu’s Pahina River. Thus, in Cebuano, they say it’s Sinulog.

The festival honors the so called vision of the child Jesus, known as the Santo Niño (Holy Child), who used to be the patron Saint of the City of Cebu. It is a dance ritual that commemorates the Cebuano peoples’ pagan origin, and their acceptance of Roman Catholicism.

The festival features a street parade with participants in bright colored costumes dancing to the rhythm of drums, trumpets and native gongs.

The Sinulog celebration lasts for nine days, culminating on the final day with the Sinulog Grand Parade. The day before the parade, the Fluvial Procession is held at dawn with a statue of the Santo Niño carried on a pump boat from Mandaue City to Cebu City, decked with hundreds of flowers and candles. The procession ends at the Basilica where a re-enactment of the Christianizing (that is, the acceptance of Roman Catholicism) of Cebu is performed. In the afternoon, a more solemn procession takes place along the major streets of the city, which last for hours due to large crowd participating in the event.

On April 7, 1521, the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived and planted the cross on the shores of Cebu, claiming the territory for Spain. He presented the image of the child Jesus, the Santo Niño, as baptismal gift to Hara Amihan, wife of Raja Humabon. Hara Amihan was later named, Queen Juana in honor of Juana, mother of Carlos I. Along with the rulers of the island, some 800 natives were also baptized to the Roman Catholic Church. At the moment of receiving the idol, it was said that Queen Juana danced with joy bearing this image of the child Jesus. With the other natives following her example, this moment was regarded as the first Sinulog.

This event is frequently used as basis for most Sinulog dances, which dramatize the coming of the Spaniards and the presentation of the Santo Niño to the Queen. A popular theme among Sinulog dances is Queen Juana holding the Santo Niño in her arms and using it to bless her people who are often afflicted by sickness caused by demons and other evil spirits.

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