We Cebuanos have it good in the island. Our holiday spirits culminate to a frenzied peak every Sinulog. I, for one, can't wipe off the stupid grin off my face until Chinese New Year. Crazy is an understatement when I describe Cebu City at the height of Sinulog festivities. For a long streak now, I have been one of the colored faces, alcohol breath, white t-shirt wearing millennial
populating contributing to the suffocation of the city streets during mardigras. But this is not a recount of Sinulog's pasts. I just turned the big 3-0 and I'm feeling indifferent towards this year's round of crazies.
Sinulog 2016 for me will be about celebrating it as it should be - Spiritual. I've created a Sinulog No Party Guide for those who, like me, could really benefit from a sort of "lose your turn" card. Again, no parties, no alcohol, yet still festive and full of Sinulog vibe! Also this would present a sensible and responsible way to go for people like me who have jobs on the immediate Monday thereafter! Here's my 9 days worth of spiritual party!
January 7 - Walk with Jesus. Opening salvo for the Sinulog celebrations always start with the 4:00AM solemn procession from Fuente Circle to the Basilica. This is also day 1 of the 9 days novena to Sñr. Sto. Niño. Check out the Museum there could be something new there.
January 8 - Opening and Launching Program at Fuente Osmeña at 8:00PM. Or better yet, sample great food at Sugbo Mercado my favorite weekend food market. The operate during these schedules:
January 9 - Watch Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan starts at 2:00PM at Cebu City Sports Center. Then hear angelic singing at the Sinulog Chorale Competition in the new eco-friendly Robinson' Galleria Cebu at 6:00PM.
January 10 - Get your sweat on by joining or cheering on the participants of the Cebu City 2016 Marathon at 3:00AM. Enjoy more polished dancing with Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan at 2:00PM still at CCSC and a Cultural Show at Fuente Circle to finish the weekend.
January 11 to 14- Don't break the chain! Carry on with day 5 to 8 of the novena. The whole Metro will be run over by parties and events at night. Fuente Circle will hold it's regular Sinulog programs surrounded by pop-up stores and food stalls. There is some great foot reflexology going on at the Basilica too!
January 15 - 4:00AM Walk with Mary from Fuente Circle to the Basilica. At 8:00PM, there will be a Cebu Pop Music Festival at Cebu Coliseum - maybe some bisrock too!
January 16 - 6:00AM Fluvial Procession which will be followed by the reenactment of the first baptism. By 2:00PM the epic procession of the Miraculous Image of Sto. Niño. Bring some water, a rosary, a sturdy fan and an umbrella. The procession attracts hoards and hoards of people. Always be on the safe side. Do not bring children if you intend to get inside the Basilica.
January 17 - Mardigras day! Oops! Mañanita Mass first at 4:00AM. Visit the Basilica first before anything else. I would still recommend to get you paint on despite this being a Sinulog No Party Guide but I suggest you hit the mardigras site early. Keep off Mango Avenue or Gen. Maxilom Avenue between 10:00AM to 6:00PM because I guarantee, push becomes shove and it's mighty ugly. By the time twilight hits, find a good spot to watch the pretty fireworks. Last year's Sinulog, Ayala Center Cebu's fireworks display reduced to mere ooohs and aaahhs. It was spectacular. I bet the newly minted SM Seaside will give us a show to talk about.
See? You don't have to suffer head splitting hangovers and stinky laundry the morning after the Sinulog Grand Parade. You no longer have to untag Facebook pictures of you getting wasted and unrecognizable in all that hopefully non-toxic paint in your eyeballs, teeth and pores.
For once you'll wake up to a clear head and uplifted spirits because you have completed the celebration of welcoming something new. Almost 500 years ago, we embraced the Infant Jesus into our shores and Cebuano life, our lives, have been blessed ever since.