Facts about the Sinulog Festival

• The Sinulog is a festival which is seen to honor and connect both of the Cebuanos' pagan past and Christian present.

• Historians have said that the festival has been celebrated by the natives even before the arrival of Christianity to the country to honor of their wooden idols and anitos.

• The Sto. Niño, the patron saint of Cebu City was a gift of Portugese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to Hara Amihan, wife of Rajah Humabon, who took a new name Queen Juana upon her baptismal on April 7, 1521.

• Sinulog comes from the Cebuano adverb sulog which means "like water current movement," which describes the forward-backward movement of the Sinulog dance to the beat of the drum.

• Sinulog dance steps originated from a story where Rajah Humabon's adviser, Baladhay was taken ill and was brought to a chapel where the Sto. Niño was enthroned. Baladhay was heard shouting shortly after. When asked to explain, he said he awoke to see the image of the Sto. Niño was on top of him trying to wake him up. He, however, could not explain why he was dancing as if mimicking the movement of the river, which became the traditional steps for the festival.

• Forty-four years after Magellan died in the shores of Mactan, a new set of explorers led by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi came to Cebu. A soldier names Juan Camus found the image of the Sto. Niño in a wooden box lying side by side with wooden idols.

• It is believed that the Sinulog was danced by the natives every year since the arrival of Magellan in 1521. However, the festival was held in honor of the Sto. Niño, and no longer of wooden idols.

• The Sinulog Festival is celebrated for nine days culminating with a grand street parade.

• A fluvial parade for the Sto. Niño is held the day before the parade from Mandaue to Cebu City. The procession ends at the Basilica where a reenactment of Christianizing of Cebu is held.

• Many smaller versions of the parade is held in various parts of the province prior to the grand festival.

Source: www.sinulog.ph

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