IN PRAISE OF THE CHILD JESUS, SENOR SANTO NINO OF CEBU
BY : TSURTIDOGNI
SINULOG, a yearly celebration that is being held every third Sunday of January. It is in
honor of Senor Santo Nino or the Holy Infant Jesus of Cebu, Philippines.Sinulog started
twenty-eight years ago. Every year the celebration is getting bigger, livelier and lovelier.
The committee is composed of Goverment Officials in the city, they call the Sinulog
There are some beautiful programs that are presented during this time. Miss Sinulog of
the year is chosen from the young , pretty and intelligent young ladies of the city. There
is also the Popular Music Cebuano Festival that features Cebuano (Cebuano is a name
given to a resident in Cebu, it is also the name given to our dialect ) talent, singer and composer and all entries are in Cebuano.
The hotels and flights are always fully booked because so many Filipinos or Cebuanos
residing in other countries come home for this special occasion, we call these returnees, BALIKBAYANS.
This image of Santo Nino is being housed in the Basilica del Santo Nino, an old church.
The Santo Nino was given in the 15th century to the leaders of Cebu , King Humabon
and Queen Juana, as a gift from the Spanish Friars. There was a fire and the Holy
Image was spared inspite of the big damage. So many people claimed they received
miracles from the Holy Infant. As a gesture of gratitude the natives of Cebu dance in
a beat of two steps forward, two steps backward, shouting, "Sinulog , Isiyagit ug Kusug"
which means we dance as we pray and shout our prayers aloud.Then more words to
follow like."Pit Senyor kang Papa Kini, Pit Senyor kang Mama Kini, " which also
means Praise You Dear Jesus, this prayer is for Papa, this prayer is for Mama" when
you wish to pray for somebody, then you may shout while you dance "PIT SENYOR KANG HILLARY KINI"(Praise you Dear Jesus, this prayer is for Hillary.)
Countless prayers had been answered, and countless people are also attending the
celebration.There are Sinulog Dancers from different islands, or provinces as far
as Luzon and Mindanao who join the yearly competition of street dancing.The wear
colorful costumes in different choreographies.
A nine-day novena is held in honor of the Holy Infant Jesus. At dawn , every Saturday,
before the Sinulog Street Dancing on Sunday, there is a Fluvial Parade. The Parade
starts from Cebu City to Mandaue City, the next city of Cebu and back to Cebu CIty.
In this parade or procession by the sea, the image of the Blessed Mother of Guadalupe
the patroness of the city of Cebu is also included in the parade with the Holy Infant
There are hundred of boats, ships and yachts, decorated with fresh flowers and balloons at the Fluvial Parade that will take about three to four hours even more. This
Fluvial Parade the Holy Infant Jesus and The BLessed Mother Images are being
placed in the boat called Trinidad, the name of the ship, where Ferdinand Magellan
who discovered the Philippines In March 16, 1521, was using. It is in this ship that
my husband Lito has been serving for twenty-four years now as one of the Coast Guard
communicator that keeps control of the safety and communications of the ship.
They have to monitor each boat or ship or yacht not to be over-loaded to avoid accidents
or tragedies.This is my husband's promise to Senyor Santo Nino that as long as he has
the strength my husband will serve Him every year as a form of gratitude for all the
Then, the following day, which is every third Sunday of January, the dancing starts
at early morning until late in the afternoon. This year there are less than a hundred
group contestants and the dancing or presentations are so amazing. The group participants consist of more or less fifty dancers. There is a group contingent from
other countries too. It's a wonderful event of the year.
When the Balikbayans or tourists arrive at the airport, there are some Sinulog dancers
who would welcome them with the Sinulog beat and the dancing in beautiful costumes.
Some hotels would also entertain their guests by having Sinulog dancers at the
hotel lobby.There's also a number of floats, usually the people who ride in the floats
are the handsome actors and beautiful movie actresses with the delight of the Cebuano
people.One thing that makes me proud of the Cebuanos, is that they are not the
shrieking fans of these famous movie personalities. The Cebuanos would gladly shake
and wave their hands, that makes the parade smooth going.
Affairs or events like these is also good for the commercial sector. There are some stalls along the road that sells the native products of Cebu giving a chance to the
visitors to bring back home souvenirs from the Cebu island. which includes some
handicrafts, food preserves and other small items products which is right enough
for the budget with each fair price given.
One advice, if you are taking a flight that departs Cebu to any destination every
third Sunday of the month of January, be sure to stay at the hotel near the
airport, because the main roads are being closed for the street dancing and you
will have a hard time getting out of the city and possibly you will be late catching
up your flight.
I wish to invite one and all, to include SINULOG CEBU PHILIPPINES in your travel
schedules for you to experience our Cebuano hospitality.
May I end this column with a loud shout, "PIT SENYOR KANG WRITING.COM. KINI ! "