Images of the picturesque Sinulog Festival backfire to cognizance of my quickened steps as a small child of ten, the time we entered the Basilica gates of Cebu and paid decent sum for the candle pedlar’s revered chanting and dancing in solo: A lighted candle raised and waved above her as we faded along with hundreds of devotees still on their way in a long line to see the image of child Jesus encased in a glass housing. Recently, I unearthed some facts over an online travel guide that the dance ritual memorialize the “Cebuano people’s pagan root and their acceptation of Roman Catholicism.” I once thought of those parades and processions or those heavy lines of the devout as plain attractors drawing people closer to the developing tourism of the city, only to dig up historical and religious significance that makes up of its grandeur and reputation to be among the visited and most colorful festivals celebrated in the Philippine Islands.
The word Sinulog originates from a Cebuano adverb “sulog” which means “water current movement,” describes the forward-backward motion of the Sinulog dance. I recall the candle vendors then, with clarity now that theirs was a way to preserve tradition too, tracing back origins of pagan accounts, the time when the aforementioned dance steps was a way to please the Anitos (icon of worship). Read more »