Solemn Foot Procession 2016

The annual solemn foot procession is one of Cebu’s most well-attended events. Every year, millions of devotees fill the major streets of Cebu City to pay homage to the Blessed Child Señor Santo Niño de Cebu. Held a day before the world-renowned Sinulog Festival grand parade, the solemn foot procession is a religious event unlike any other.

This year, since I wasn’t able to secure a Sinulog ID, I focused all my energy on events that give photographers – professional or otherwise – equal footing in terms of access and reach. I knew that the competition for the usual shooting spots would be tight, so I made it a point to come really early. The parade usually starts at 1 pm and the image usually arrives in the Fuente area around 4 or 5 pm. I was at my spot even before lunch.

Vendors take advantage of this very well-attended event by selling their merchandise on the streets.

Even this Caucasian couple had a swell time selling their hand-made friendship bracelets.

Balloons are also a usual sight during Sinulog-related events in Cebu.

A couple of minutes after lunch, the head of the parade emerged. This one frame alone already contains at least a thousand people.

The steady stream of humanity silently flowed straight towards the Basilica even in extreme heat.

A shot of the Cebu City 2015 Christmas Tree.

Several hours later, the already packed parade became even tighter and heavier. This could only mean one thing.

And true enough, balloons started to fill the air. The Santo Niño was finally here.

Due to the number of people, the road was blocked momentarily to divert the traffic to the other side of the road.

The parade being diverted to the other side of Osmeña Boulevard.

A couple more minutes later, the road was reopened and the carriage of the image appearred.

As per tradition, the carozza was surrounded by priests who also walk the entire length of the parade route.

The image is safely placed inside a beautifully crafted glass case.

And the glass case is surrounded by beautiful blooms that bear the Sinulog colors – Red and Yellow.

View of the parade moving slowly towards the Basilica.

Red and white buntings usually cover the whole stretch of Osmeña Boulevard during the whole Sinulog celebrations.

Balloons fly past Cebu’s (once) tallest structure.

Check out more Sinulog photos HERE.

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