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by Sara Nicole Abbu Photos by Ean Dacay and Aih Mendoza

BEFORE RE AD U P O N CEBU. If you’re visiting Cebu for the first time, be sure to read up on all the sights to see, the beaches to hit and all the food to eat. Prepare an itinerary in order to make the most of your time in the city.

PRE PARE YO U R SU NS C REEN, SU N N I E S , U M BRELL A S ( AN D R AI N COAT S !) Whatever the weather will be, the festival and all its activities will still surely be a go. So be ready for an extremely hot and sunny day or a wet and gloomy one, because the weather hardly ever stops the fun.

G ATH ER A S M ANY F RI EN DS A S YO U C AN. Be sure to contact as many friends as you can: those who live within the city or may be in the city for the weekend as well. With Sinulog, “the more, the merrier” is always the way to go!

V IS IT TH E BA S I LI C A M I N O RE D EL STO. N I Ñ O. The festival is a celebration of the Snr. Sto. Niño, so be sure to immerse and ground yourself on the festival’s history and religiosity.

KEE P AN O PEN M I N D. You’re gonna be out in the sun (or rain) all day, there are going to be tons of people (Read: Sinulog 2012 had an attendance of 3 million!), and you’d have to do a lot of walking… so keeping an open mind will be the key to enjoy and make the most of your Sinulog experience. And remember that it’s all in the name of good fun!

Though the younger crowd may know Sinulog for its mardi graslike street party, the festival’s roots are religious. The Sinulog chant “Pit Señor!” is short for “Sangpit sa Senyor,” which loosely translates to “Hail the Lord!” The basilica remains an important part of Sinulog festivities.


DURING WATCH YO U R TH I N GS . With a festival as big as this, you’re surely going to need your camera, cellphone, etc., but be careful. There are going to be throngs of people, so it’s unfortunately inevitable that there will be those who would take advantage of the situation. So it’s better to be wary than end up crying over that missing iPhone! J O I N TH E PRO CE SS I O N. A procession in honor of the Sto. Niño is held on the day before the Mardi Gras (Saturday). It is here where over a million devotees come together and walk from the Basilica and back as thanksgiving and offering to the Señor — an experience that shouldn’t be missed!

HYD R ATE ! ( BEE R O R H2 O ) . Make sure to drink as much water as you can, you don’t want to be too weak and dehydrated to enjoy the festival. And since the whole festival’s one big celebration, loosen up, go ahead and have a drink (or 10!). H IT TH E BE ST PARTI E S AN D CO N CE RT S . Over the Sinulog weekend, the whole city of Cebu will seem like one massive party. With all the parties, concerts and other events lined up, it’s going to be hard to choose. So the best solution is always to ask a local about the best events to hit, and you’re bound to have a great time!

TAKE I N TH E M ARD I GR A S , DAN CE O N TH E STREE T AN D WALK WALK WALK . During the Sunday Mardi Gras, the streets around the parade route are going to be closed, so be sure to be up for a ton of walking. Also, go around the different areas near the Mardi Gras parade, there are going to be tons of booths (from henna tattoo artists and face painters, to souvenirs, masks and noisemakers, to food and drinks, and everything in between) and for sure, you’re bound to find a street party in every corner. If you’re game enough, you can even get under the ropes, join the actual parade and dance with the parade dancers, higantes and musicians. Pit Senyor!

AFTER S H OW ER AN D C ATCH U P O N S O ME Zs. After the paint, sweat and beer showers from Sinulog Sunday, the first thing you’d want to do is take a loooong shower. And with all the festivities of the whole weekend, you’re bound to have missed hours of your usual sleeping sched, so it’s time to finally take a rest after a crazy weekend. FO O D TRI P. If you’re just visiting Cebu for the Sinulog weekend, don’t forget to try the great food the city has to offer. I suggest you make a list of all the food you’d wanna try and ask a local on where you can find the best.

S O U V EN I R AN D D ELI C ACY S H O PPI N G . Before you head on home, be sure to share your CebuSinulog experience with loved ones. Shop for some souvenirs (from Sto. Nino de Cebu images, guitars and to shirts), and for some Cebuano delicacies as Lechon, Danggit, Dried Mangoes etc., to bring home. U PLOAD YO U R PH OTOS . With the awesome weekend you’ve just had, I’m pretty sure you took a lot of photos. Upload and share all the great memories you’ve just made, as well as those amazing colorful photos of the festival.

LO O K FO RWARD TO N E X T Y E AR . The festival just gets better and better each year, and with the Sinulog hangover you’re going to have, you’ll be bound to be counting the weeks to next year’s festival!

See you in 2014!

S AR A N I CO LE ABBU @sarsagonosaur

E AN DAC AY @eanissleepy

AI H M EN D OZ A @AihinWonderland

Sara is a recent graduate of the Information Design program of the ADMU and is studying fashion in Sydney, Australia this year. She is the creative half of the duo behind The Sinulog Shirt Project (

Ean is a Communications and Technology Management graduate from Ateneo with a minor in Japanese Studies. He currently works for Shaldan Philippines, Inc. and is currently the photographer-at-large of Kamusta? Magazine

Aih is an AB Communication student at the Ateneo de Manila University and is currently part of the multimedia staff of The GUIDON, the university’s official student publication. Check out more of her work at



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The Sinulog Guide  
The Sinulog Guide  

What to do before, during and after Cebu's biggest festival. Produced by Kamusta? Magazine.