Sinulog Festival in Cebu City kicks off

A CONTINGENT performs during a parade that kicked off the week-long celebration of Sinulog Festival on Osmeña Boulevard in Cebu City on Friday, Jan 6. (Calvin D. Cordova)

CEBU CITY – The Sinulog Festival is officially back after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

Top officials of Cebu led by Mayor Michael Rama here and Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, on Friday, Jan. 6, led the launching of this year’s Sinulog Festival and the Feast of the Santo Niño de Cebu.

This is the first time in two years that a series of physical activities will be held as part of the week-long celebration of the Sinulog.

Last Thursday, Jan. 5, the Augustinian Friars of the Basilica del Santo Niño also launched the 458th Fiesta Señor that kicked off a series of religious activities.

Activities for Fiesta Señor include novena Masses and fluvial and and foot processions next weekend.

During the launching, Rama and Garcia attended a novena Mass at the Basilica where thousands of devotees also gathered.

Rama and Garcia described this year’s celebration as “One Cebu Island Sinulog” to highlight the unity among local government units in Cebu.

Covid-19 protocols have eased with most of the churchgoers no longer wearing face masks. With thousands of devotees packing the church, physical distancing protocol was also impossible to enforce.

The launching was highlighted by a parade on Osmeña Boulevard participated in by different universities and colleges in the Metro Cebu area.

Contingents donning colorful costumes showcased different festivals in the country and danced to the Sinulog beat.

The parade ended at the Cebu City Sports Center where students had presentations. The kick-off ceremony ended with a fireworks display.

Another major pre-Sinulog event, the"Sinulog sa Kabataan," will be held on Jan. 8, participated by different barangays, towns, and cities in Cebu.

The Sinulog Grand Parade will be held on Jan. 15 at the South Road Properties, the first time that it will be held outside the city proper.