The Sinulog Festival may be one of the best festivities you can attend to but there are some things to consider to further maximize your experience. Here are some tips on getting the most out of Sinulog!
- Better book your tickets either for flights or passenger ferries as well as hotel accommodations weeks ahead or even a month prior to the great events, or you will end up with no open flights or a hotel to stay at. But you may find, if you’re lucky, comfortable lodging houses and inns for transients to suit your budget and needs.
- For pilgrims who do not have budget to billet in a hotel or lodging house, there’s the Devotee City at the Plaza Independencia that provides free shelter starting on a Friday, that is two days before the Sinulog day.
- For tourists and local residents alike, never forget to scan through the pages of local community newspapers for the schedule of activities for the entire week. The weeklong festivity features both religious and cultural activities, including nightly presentations and street parties at Fuente Osmeña, Ms. Cebu beauty pageant at Waterfront Hotel, the Cebu Popular Music Festival, the fluvial and on-foot processions, and the search for Festival Queen.
- Buy your tickets from authorized people of the Sinulog Foundation, Inc., which holds office at the Cebu City Sports Center. Tickets are available in denominations P600, P500, and P400 Sinulog Executive Director Ricky Ballesteros advices the buying public against scrupulous individuals selling it at higher prices or worse, disposing bogus tickets. But, do not fret or you could no longer get any of the 12,000 seats at the grandstand in the sports center because bleachers will be built at some points along the 5.1 kilometer stretch of the carousel parade route. What’s more, spectators at the sports center no longer have the monopoly of the ritual dance presentations of the competing contingents of the culminating day of the weeklong celebration, which falls on January 17th this year.
Yes folks the competing groups are obliged to bring along their fantastic props, even gigantic ones as long as they can carry them, and use these in their street dances so you get to witness the same wonderful performances warming up the revelers at the sports center. Expect it to be a parade of vivid colors; contingents clad on their dazzling costumes performing the prayer-dance synchronized to the beat of the drums and shouts of “Pit Señor! Viva Sto. Niño!” while holding aloft the Sto. Niño icons as they stimulate the natural rhythm of sea waves that brought the Holy Child to the shores of Cebu.
- Regardless of your location during the grand parade day, do apply or bring sun block lotion, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses to protect you from harmful UV rays, a handy fan, a face towel or two, lots of bottled water to replace the fluids that you sweat out, and protective clothing. Even something as T-shirt preferably light-colored clothing can offer you relief from the sun’s rays. Cebuanos usually come on their holiday get-ups, which are black T-shirts and wide-brimmed straw hats. But you can choose to don on your trendy outfits and/or be a minimalist but be sure to bring along a scarf and other apparel to cover your flesh, especially the shoulder and arms, to keep the sun off, lest you get painful sunburns.
- Wear very good comfortable, walking shoes or sandals because that is basically a car-less day in the city. Specifically, public utility vehicles and private cars are not allowed to traverse on streets along the carousel parade route.
- And to finally set the festive mood, you can dote on fashion accessories but not the real stuff of course, to ensure safety and security. Here in the city, you can visit the stalls or booths located outside the Basilica del Sto. Niño, at the street fair along Osmeña Boulevard installed as early as December, and at the Plaza Independencia which are all put up for the duration of the Sinulog weeklong celebration.
- Comestibles will come in handy because booths and stalls selling inexpensive gastronomy of cuisine on different varieties will sprout all over the place. Just be a little circumspect with what you pick and from where you buy it. You don’t want to spoil the celebration with an upset stomach, right?
- Depending on the number of contingents, the Sinulog grand parade usually kicks off at around 9 a.m.. It is best to hit the streets very early so you will encounter less discomfort finding your way through the crowd.
- Bring along first-aid medical kit as well as any personal medical requirements, just in case or someone needs it.
- Never forget to bring some identification cards, in case of emergencies.
ENJOY THE FESTIVITIES..PIT SENYOR!