Today, I woke up feeling a little worried. Of course, I’m excited because the Sinulog season is finally here. But at the same time, I am also anxious and bothered. News have been circulating about bomb threats and the Sinulog celebration being a possible target. Just the thought that horrible things COULD happen here in Cebu, and especially during this very joyous occasion, is just scary. This is a serious issue that can affect not only the locals but also the millions of visitors who will come (and are already here) for the festivities.
I arrived in Fuente Osmeña at around 3:30 am. When I got there, however, I was a bit surprised to see that there were only a handful of people in the area. In the past, the whole section from the Maternity hospital to the skywalk would already be stuffed with people around this time. This time, however, there were lots of empty spaces. In fact, jeepneys and private vehicles were allowed to pass around the circle.
Ten minutes before the start of the procession, the situation improved a bit. By 4 am, when the procession was about to start, I was certain that this was going to be the shortest dawn procession in the history of the Sinulog.
The procession began at exactly 4 am. During the first few minutes, people started lighting their candles while humming along to the Santo Niño hymns playing on loud speakers.
Several minutes later, the carroza carrying the image of the Señor came into view. It was during this segment that I began to notice the change in the density of the procession. The lines were more compact and the flood of lights became a little brighter.
It turned out that I was wrong. From the skywalk where I was situated, I couldn’t see that people had assembled along B. Rodriguez road. And there were thousands of them!
And the river of lights just flowed on and on.
It is so heartwarming to know that despite the threats, the Cebuanos’ faith is indeed unwavering and indubitable.
The carroza of the Niño passing under the Fuente skywalk.
Throngs walking silently behind the Niño’s carroza.
Thirty minutes later, the crowd was still unbelievably compact. Wow!
View of the two sides of Osmeña Boulevard during the annual dawn penitential walk.
After the procession, I went home with a smile on a face. It was a mistake to doubt the Cebuanos’ faith and devotion. And now I have yet another solid reason why I am extremely proud to be called one.
Have a safe Sinulog, everyone! And Viva Pit Senyor!
Video of Walk with Jesus Dawn Procession