The Sinulog festival culminates in the Sinulog Grand Parade where different contingents dance to the Sinulog beat
Image: Sinulog Foundation Inc. Facebook Page
All roads lead to Cebu on the third Sunday of January as the Queen City of the South celebrates the grandest festival in the country: the Sinulog
. While the event began in the early 1980s, its roots can be traced back to the time of Ferdinand Magellan. Sinulog is a dance ritual performed to honor the image of the Santo Niño
(Holy Child), which was the baptismal gift given by Magellan to the wife of Rajah Humabon. Today, the original image is enshrined at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. The dance movements used during the festival imitate a river’s water current.
While people visit Cebu to join the grand parade, the city has more to offer to visitors during the Sinulog Festival. In this regard, we came up with a list of things you can do while you are in Cebu for the Sinulog Festival 2020
. Cebu always knows how to make the festival even grander than before, and so these are some tips to make the most out of your Sinulog Festival 2020
1. Enjoy the food in Cebu.
Recommended place: Balay sa Busay
Monday to Thursday: 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Friday to Saturday: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Sunday: 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Recommended budget for two: PhP1,200
The Pinakbet (mixed vegetables) Rice and Dinuguan (pork offal stew) Rice are two food offerings you may want to try while enjoying the view at the Balay sa Busay
Image: Balay sa Busay Facebook Page
Tasting the food in Cebu should be on your to-do list when you are in town. There are several food options you can consider in Cebu, but one particular place allows you to dine while enjoying the view of the mountains of Cebu: Balay sa Busay. Located at the popular Tops Road, this quaint little restaurant gives guests a scenic view of the cliffs and valleys strewn along the mountains of Cebu. Its Instagram-worthy interior exudes a homey ambiance that adds to its allure. Moreover, the restaurant serves Filipino dishes with a Cebuano twist. Some of the dishes offered at the restaurant are the sinugbang baboy (grilled pork), grilled bangus (milkfish), Bisayang manok (native chicken soup), and baked cheesy scallops. You have the option of dining indoors or in the open-air dining area of the restaurant.
Tip: If you are going to ride a motorcycle-for-hire going to the Balay sa Busay, it is recommended to get the mobile number of the driver or set a time when he will return to bring you back to the city. After all, it is not easy to get a ride from the restaurant back to the city.
How to get to Balay sa Busay: From the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, get on the MyBus headed for SM City Cebu. From SM City Cebu, ride a jeepney going to JY Square Discovery Mall. You can get on a motorcycle-for-hire at the mall going to Balay sa Busay.
2. Go on a tour around Cebu.
Recommended place: Simala Church
Operating hours: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM
The unique architectural design of the Simala Church is inspired by some famous European churches
Image: Simala-Lindogon Church Sibonga Facebook Page
Ticking off the boxes on your bucket list is another thing that you can do while in Cebu. You can visit the whale sharks in Oslob or check out the animals at the Cebu Safari and Adventure Park in Carmen. Since the Sinulog is a religious event, the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño should be one of your stops. But, did you know that there is another place you can visit where you can receive blessings while attending the Sinulog Festival? The Simala Church, or the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist, is a popular Marian shrine in the south. Located in the southern town of Sibonga, Cebu, it features a unique architectural design inspired by the cathedrals in Europe. The church is also the home of the Birhen sa Simala (Virgin of Simala), which makes the place a must-visit destination for Marian devotees.
Tip: You should wear decent clothing when you visit the church. Wearing shorts, mini skirts, sleeveless shirts, and short blouses are not allowed, so dress accordingly if you want to enter the church.
How to get to Simala Church: From the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, get on the MyBus headed for SM City Cebu. From SM City Cebu, ride a taxi to the Cebu South Bus Terminal where you can get on a bus plying the Cebu-Oslob or Cebu-Santander route. Tell the diver to let you off at the bus stop going to Simala Church. From the bus stop, ride on a motorcycle-for-hire to Simala Church.
3. Relax in a great hotel during the Sinulog Festival.
Recommended place: Azia Suites and Residences
Sinulog 2020 Rates: PhP3,999 for the Standard Room; PhP4,799 for the Deluxe Room; PhP5,300 for the Junior Suite; PhP6,000 for the Executive Suite.
When booking the Executive Suite of the Azia Suites and Residences, guests can look forward to the best accommodation that the hotel can provide.
Image: Azia Suites and Residences Website
It is generally advisable to get a good night’s rest before the Sinulog grand parade. One place you can consider is Azia Suites and Residences. Situated several meters away from the parade route, the hotel offers 60 rooms, ranging from the Standard Double up to the Executive Room. Aside from offering a place where you can catch some Zs before and after the grand parade, the hotel also has a roof deck lounge where you can watch the city lighting up after the sun sets over the horizon.
Tip: Since it may be challenging to find available hotel rooms during the Sinulog celebration, it is advisable to book early. You can also check for promotions offered by the hotel for the Sinulog season.
How to get to Azia Suites and Residences: From the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, get on the MyBus headed for SM City Cebu. From SM City Cebu, ride a taxi to Azia Suites and Residences.
4. Live up the expectations of what a Sinulog weekend party should be by attending this pool party.
Recommended place: La Plage Club
Operating hours: Jan 17, 2020 at 3:00 PM to Jan 20, 2020 at 5:00 AM
Ticket Prices: PhP1,000 for the one-day access ticket; PhP1,500 for the two-day access ticket
Residents and visitors to Cebu can listen to the best DJs in the country during the Hydro Cebu Music Festival.
Image: La Plage Club Facebook Page
Looking for a party during the Sinulog Festival? Well, La Plage Club is hosting the Hydro Cebu Music Festival from January 17 to January 20, 2020. Hydro Cebu Music Festival is a pool party featuring the best disc jockeys in the country. Headlining the event are Sesco, Maily, Damat, Sheryl Lynn, and Undercover.
Tip: To get the best out of your Sinulog experience, you can attend Sinulog parties held all over the city. But it is also advisable to take a rest the night before the grand parade so you can dance to the beat of the Sinulog during the festival’s main event.
How to get to La Plage Club: From the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, get on the MyBus headed for Parkmall. From Parkmall, ride a taxi to La Plage Club in the North Reclamation Area, Mandaue City.
5. Get your legs ready for the Sinulog Street Party.
Schedule: January 19, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
The Sinulog Grand Parade is the most awaited event during the festival as different contingencies showcase their talents in front of hundreds of thousands of people.
Image: Sinulog Foundation Inc. Facebook Page
While street parties are staging a comeback for Sinulog 2020, the Sinulog Grand Parade is still the most anticipated event during the festival. Held on the major streets of the city, the grand parade shows why the Sinulog is the most lavish festival in the country. The grand parade will kick off at 9:00 AM at the Cebu City Sports Center. Although the route has yet to be finalized, it is expected to pass through the same streets as the previous Sinulog celebrations. Street parties will also be held in different parts of the city, but none of them will be held along the parade route. Stricter guidelines will also be in place to avoid any untoward incidents during the festival.
Tip: It cannot be noted enough, but if you want to have fun during the Sinulog Grand Parade, you should get enough rest the night before. You should also wear comfortable clothing and keep yourself hydrated during the parade.
Go to Yoorekka
for more updates on Sinulog!
Since hundreds of thousands of tourists visit Cebu for the Sinulog in January, we hope this guide will give you a heads up on what to expect when you join the grandest festival in the country.