After many years of not being able to give the Sinulog Festival the attention that it deserves, I am finally back in the streets to witness it first-hand. Like most Cebuanos, the Sinulog Festival is my most favorite Cebuano event. However, due to personal things that also require my immediate attention, I always end up missing it. Fortunately, the stars aligned for me this year and I was able to witness most of the Sinulog events including the grand parade on the 19th.
Anyway, let’s get the ball rolling. Here are the photos from the Grand Sinulog Parade – from the festive dancing in the streets all the way to the finale at the Cebu City Sports Center.
The parade officially began in the morning. But I decided to hit the streets just around lunchtime so that I got plenty of space to roam around (with the crowd dispersing and eating their lunch.)
But I guess I was wrong because when I arrived in Fuente Osmena, the roads were packed and everyone was active and full of energy.
So, instead of braving the crowd, I decided to grab some lunch. It was already around 2 pm when I finally entered the route. (Yes, I got a special ID :))
The dancers of this contingent are all smiles as they perform for the crowd around the Fuente circle.
These walking ‘monkeys’ posed for my camera as they headed towards the Cebu City Sports Center.
This higante or giant of Juan Camus has such beautiful hands. Look at them! 🙂
This higante ‘driver’ gladly posed for my camera during a short break in the parade.
One of the highlights of this year’s grand parade was the special participation of the contingent from the Masskara Festival.
This contingent in colorful skirts wowed the crowd along Jones Avenue.
While the dancers were resting, I asked this beautiful lead dancer for a photo. And she obliged. What a beautiful face.
This float from the Cebu Landmasters featured a beauty queen and celebrity endorser Daniel Matsunaga.
This random dude was standing along the road and carrying the sign which read ‘Gwapong Nasaktan’ or basically ‘Handsome Guy Who was Hurt’.
This lovely festival queen in a beautiful blue dress poses with her image of Santo Nino with a white cape.
This guy in a Roman outfit turned my way just when I clicked my camera.
A boat-shaped float carrying beaut queens thrilled the crowd along Osmenea Boulevard.
Standing near the front of the float were two beauty queens from the Bb Pilipinas pageant.
The biggest star of the float, however, was Cebu’s very own Bb. Pilipinas Universe Gazini Ganados.
The crowd was obviously very happy to see her in person.
One of the most exciting floats that hit the streets this year was this one from GMA 7.
The float featured the complete cast of GMA’s upcoming primetime series Descendants of the Sun. Leading the cast was GMA’s Primetime King Dingdong Dantes.
And when he greeted the crowd, they went wild!
Funny girl Charice Solomon poses for my camera when she saw me below the float.
Another big-name on the float was multi-awarded actress Jennylyn Mercado.
She, too, thrilled the excited crowd.
Jennylyn and Dingdong wave at the crowd as the float slowly inched towards the Cebu City Sports Center.
And the crowd couldn’t stop waving.
The crowd also got extremely excited when they saw these young actors in their military costumes.
Even the guards couldn’t help but whip out their phones and take some photos. Haha.
A shot of some of the tireless men and women who helped keep the grand parade safe and in order.
The Cebu City Sports Center was stuffed to the rafters when I arrived at around 4 pm.
I decided to watch the performances because they’re just more exciting in person. This is how the grandstand looked after dark.
Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia performed on stage with the Siloy contingent from the town of Alcoy.
One of the most applauded contingents was the Lumad Basakanon which won big in this year’s parade.
At around 7 pm, the sports center was locked down for the arrival of President Rodrigo Duterte. No one was allowed to enter and leave the premises and the crowd was even told to stay in their seats while the president was still in the area.
After the president’s speech (he came to Cebu to celebrate the Sinulog with the Cebuanos), the rest of the contingents also performed on stage.
This contingent which portrayed pregnant women turning to the Nino for safe and successful delivery was very well-received by the crowd.
IPI’s very interesting float features the culture of our Mindanaoan brothers and sisters.
The crowd went wild when the Bai de Luces contingent from Negros Oriental performed on stage.
After the final showdown, the crowd at the sports center witnessed a short but wonderful finale. The showcase featured some key events from Cebu’s right history including the trade with the Chinese and the arrival of Magellan.
The star of the finale was Cebu’s very Dulce Amor who sang several Cebuano favorites that the crowd truly enjoyed.
Dulce Amor also performed the new Sinulog theme together with the finalists in this year’s Sinulog Idol.
Check out these videos from Sinulog Sunday: