Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sinulog 2011 Schedule of Activities (ANNOTATED)

Alright folks, here I go again... one of the few things I post that are "before the fact" which I gladly oblige owing to the many of you who keep asking. So below is the fresh list of activities for the Sinulog 2011 Festival.

Why the capitalized 'ANNOTATED' on the title of this post? Well, again for you, who (like me) do not have a month nor a week to spend for the festival, so you can pick your dates. Yes yes, like many of you, I also hate those festivals listed at the wow philippines whatever website, giving date ranges where the (would be) first-time visitor is not given a clear idea on WHICH is the highlight day or the "D-Day" or the "real" festival date!

For Sinulog 2011, it is January 16, 2011 (the 3rd Sunday of January as usual).

So mark your calendars. And don't be bothered or confused with the following schedule of activities (blue font) that starts as early as December 1, 2010 until February 10, 2011. Like hello?! That is why the "ANNOTATIONS", so that depending on your interests, you can come days before and leave days after January 16. Then again, if you are not a resident of Cebu and is miraculously gifted with a free December 2 until February 10... we will of course scream with envy!!! Here goes the schedule

December 01, 2010 to January 31, 2011
-Sinulog Street Fair, Osmeña Blvd.
Its the usual 'flea market', 'tiangge' or 'bazaar' that authorizes the DVD and trinket vendors over at Colon St., and even as far as Divisoria to erect stalls at that Boulevard more commonly known as "Jones". Just for the organizers to make their very selves believe that the festival was a real crowd-drawer really! Didn't you notice that heavy traffic during festivals is an indication for the local authorities to declare it was a success?! Thus the need for a street fair hehe. It also brings-in more taxes for the local government and/or the foundation plus rentals from the stalls. But the things sold there are nothing outa ordinary! So there is no rush to see those stalls as they will be the same whatever date you come by. Its not something anyone should panic being there early about as there is virtually nothing unique or rare to find there. Rather, it is the city's very generous offering for the resident (and mind you a lot of visiting) pickpockets and snatchers to practice their trade once again. So, I suggest you just hit the malls instead of this nuisance 'street fair' as them malls also erect bazaar-like stalls along their lobbies and hallways where prices are really not much different! At these mall stalls, you may even catch a glimpse of the various OTOP specialties or contacts worthy to keep. OTOP? - that means "One Town One Product" and most would rarely go stoop down the level of joining a street fair 'tiangge' over at the boulevard. Gosh!

Janaury 2, 2011 (Sunday)
-Sinulog Fun Run
Ah this one is really fun to watch hehe! On the 2010 version, I loved watching one grandma who did the run holding an image of the Sto Nino all the way as she sweated it out! Am not sure but I think she did finish her bracket/category/whatever! Warning for the early visitors. If you are trying to fit your day-tour to this date, you might want to reconsider. This is one of the few Sundays in a year where Cebu City and environs get to experience an early morning road snarl. Then again, if you watch the event, it is really a fun Sunday. Come to the city if you are a marathoner or one who likes photo-shooting marathons. I have marked this date for the fun of what to see - even if I will surely be still nursing a hangover. Like hello, its the day after new years hehe!

January 06, 2011 (Thursday)
-Opening Salvo: Walk with Jesus
--4:00 AM Assembly Time (Area) Fuente Osmeña
--4:30 AM Start of Walk-Fuente Osmeña Blvd. – Basilica del Sto. Niño
--5:30 AM Installation of Hermano & Hermana Mayores 2011
I liked this the first time I joined in (but I was already a resident of Cebu last January). It starts a bit dramatic and ends with me asking "so what?"! Thus, for you the visitor/tourist, decide if you are really on to see or experience this. The 'act' or 'ceremony' starts over at uptown before dawn. A procession ensues with everyone praying the rosary as they walk towards the church. A mass is held then the "hermano" / "hermana" (sponsors?) of the fiesta are called and there is clapping and applause. That's it. I may be missing more 'meat' about this act but it looks to me like just a 'giving importance to whom who will give a lot of money to the priests' hehe. Unless you are a relative of the "hermano"(husband usually) and/or "hermana"(wife usually), am not sure what significance it is that you must come to Cebu for this hehe! Then again... you'll get to catch a glimpse of Cebu at dawn where a religious procession ensues! Great photo-op for those who like sunrise periods amidst buildings, cityscapes and a 'religious' activity!

January 07, 2011 (Friday)
-Sinulog 2011 Kick Off
-Sinulog Photo Exhibits through the years @
SM City Cebu (Mall)
Ayala Center Cebu (Mall)
MCIAA (Airport Lobby)
2:00PM Solemn Mass (Basilica del Sto. Niño)
3:00 PM Launching Parade (Basilica del Sto. Niño to Cebu City Sports Center)
7:00 PM Opening and Launching Program, Fuente Osmeña featuring Mandaue City Children’s Choir, Dancesports Team Cebu and Dance Troupes from Cebu’s schools and universities
7:30 PM Miss Cebu 2011 Presentation, Fuente Osmeña
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Street Party Bands
Alright lets do these 1x1:
The photo exhibits mentioned above are the "start" of those installations at said locations - meaning there will be some ceremonial ribbon-cutting ek ek, probably some bigshot speaking ek ek, etc etc., So unless you are a photog of a daily paper in Cebu, you don't have to consider that activity as an important criteria as to when you should jet in. The exhibit will run until way after the festival anyway.

The 2PM mass is a mass, what else hehe. Am not sure if that would make any catholic from outside of Cebu earn extra 'pogi points' to HIM by attending that mass.

Well, the 3PM launching parade is more of a glimpse or teaser. They usually invite performing groups (dance clubs) from universities and schools in the province. Its a spectacle in itself (see my blog post about this activity in the 2010 version), but they all dance to one tune - the festival's jingle (which I like very much)! This one is a must see if you can afford to hit the city that early. Yes, some of the performances in this opening thing would even be more fantastic than some of the groups competing during the real festival day (again, it is 16 January 2011). And chances are, you won't have a glimpse ever again of those beautiful Filipiniana costumes they use during that opening salvo.

Ah well, the 7PM program over at the famous rotunda (its in your P50 bill, did you notice?) is another opening ceremony where yet various performing groups regale the crowd before and after some bigshots do their mandatory bla bla bla speeches of course.

Oh, the 730PM event is nothing but presenting the candidates to a beauty pageant that will be coming soon.

The 8PM thing marks the start of a contest that will terminate somewhere in the schedules below. It is some kind of an elimination singing contest scheduled at various dates (just like American Idol) leading towards the finals held a day or two before the Sinulog festival day!

And don't trust the 9PM activity since it can be 10 or 11 - depending on how the singing contest went forth hehe! Mind you, these band ek ek which are mostly headbanger groups can last till the wee hours of the morning. And that starts a series of such nightly free concerts at the rotunda. Again for the very enterprising pickpockets and snatchers to hone their respective crafts! I can tell you this though, as the years go by, police and military folks are getting more successful at curbing the activities of these criminals who are mostly from elsewhere that just come to practice their 'trade' during the festival. So their activities are starting to pfft away - may they all rest in peace hehe!

January 8, 2011 (Saturday) Sinulog sa Kabataan – Lalawigan
1:00 PM Parade of Participants, Capitol Site to Cebu City Sports Center
2:00 PM Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan, Cebu City Sports Center
4:30 PM Awarding of Winners
6:30 PM Cultural Show (Fuente Osmeña) DepEd, Cebu Province
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:30 PM Concert @ the Fuente O, Street Party Bands
Kabataan is Youth and Lalawigan is Province. This is a serious Sinulog contest in itself where the participants are representatives from the various towns and cities of the province. Well, yes, generally schools, and my oh my... though the whole thing just takes a whole afternoon, its mighty a spectacle in itself too! And winners at this contest automatically become contenders at the big day. For a preview, try this (my notes on the 2010 version)! The 630PM and onwards activities you already know. Mind you about this thing they call "street party" - its not really a party but rather just a show. Rock bands are up a stage performing their lungs and innards out in high decibel shouting while people who care to watch and listen stand on the ground. That's it!

January 9, 2011 (Sunday) Sinulog sa Kabataan- Dakbayan
4:00 AM Cebu City 2011 Marathon – www.cebumarathon.com

1:00 PM Parade of Participants, Plaza Independencia to Cebu City Sports Center
2:00 PM Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan, Cebu City Sports Center
4:30 PM Awarding of Winners
6:30 PM Cultural Show (Fuente Osmeña) University of San Carlos
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente O, Street Party Bands
Dakbayan means the city area or metropolis and this is another serious big day of a Sinulog contest. Contenders are from the various schools of the cities of Metropolitan Cebu. And don't be quick to drop the idea. Many of the winners in this contest move on to reap various awards during the big day! That is since top groups in this contest automatically join the big day. For indicators, you can go back to my blog entry on the 2010 version of this contest. Oh, that 4AM activity has nothing to do with the Sinulog Sa Kabataan but oh my, this marathon has a great following.

January 10, 2011 (Monday)
6:30 PM Cultural Show (Fuente Osmeña) University of Cebu
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente O, Street Party Bands
Hohummm hehe! For me who is now a resident, I have marked the 630PM event as a must see. I will wonder though if you, as an outsider would really consider this Monday a must for you to be in Cebu. Then again, your niece or nephew maybe part of those who are performing hehe!

January 11, 2011 (Tuesday)
7:30 PM Cultural show (Fuente Osmeña) University of San Jose-Recoletos and
Cebu Institute of Technology
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente O, Street Party Bands
You already know what to expect at these activities. See above!

January 12, 2011 (Wednesday)
9:00 AM Airport Welcome (Balikbayan Flights)
6:30 PM Cultural Shows (Fuente Osmeña) University of Southern Philippines-Foundation and Salazar College of Science and Institute of Technology
7:00 PM Miss Cebu 2011 Coronation Night, Waterfront Lahug Hotel
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente O, Street Party Bands
That airport welcome is not a show for the public as you cannot just enter the tarmac. It is more of a welcome show for those arriving flights - usually direct from the US on Philippine Airlines. Passengers are usually asked to disembark using the stairs instead of the aero-bridge that connects to the building. That way, they go right down to the tarmac where the performers are dancing. So if you are from that part of the world, plan to arrive anywhere from this date until the 15th. Ah, Miss Cebu is the city's beauty pageant. Like anywhere else in this country, a fiesta is not complete without one!

January 13, 2011 (Thursday)
9:00 AM Airport Welcome (Balikbayan Flights)
10 AM – 3:00 PM Photo Shoot Sinulog Festival Queen , SM City Entertainment Plaza
7:00 PM Sinulog Festival Queen Parade of Costumes @ SM Northwing Lobby
6:30 PM Cultural Shows (Fuente Osmeña) Cebu City Division
6:00 PM Balik Cebu, Welcome Party @ Ayala Center Cebu
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
8:00 PM Handumanan @ Ayala Terraces
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente O, Street Party Bands
Well, the photoshoot is supposed to be a free-for-all who have cameras over at the food court of SM. Them festival queens are asked to pause either one-by-one or as a group or as pairs at the command of the most dominant photographer. Anyone can of course click in, don't mind if you just have a point-and-shoot. Its not in the camera, its who takes the shots! The 'Balik Cebu' party thing is nothing but just another concert with a few times mentioning visitors to Cebu. Then it continues to the Handuman - a cultural heritage show. If you're a first-timer, you'll like this one. By the way, it maybe timely to clarify now... the Festival Queens are not Miss Cebu, oaky?! The festival queen is that girl who dances in front of each tribe usually carrying the Sto Nino. Yes, they also have a contest on who is the fairest and best dancer. The Miss Cebu thing is just it - a beauty pageant without necessarily being related to the festival. They just hold it at such date so there'd be more spectators or curious onlookers hehe. Well yes, they are also paraded during the festival.

January 14, 2011 (Friday) Visual Merchandising Contest (Dept. Stores and Malls)
4:00 AM Walk with Mary (Area) Fuente Osmeña-Sto. Niño
7:00 AM Misa de Translacion (Motorcade)
9:00 AM Solidarity Meeting (All Competing Contingent /Floats / Higante / Puppteers) @ Cebu City Sports Center Gym
6:30 PM Cultural Shows (Fuente Osmeña) Cebu Normal University, Abellana National High School and Asian College of Technology
7:30 PM Cebu Popular Music Festival, Cebu Coliseum
7:30 PM Sinulog Festival Queen 2011, Cebu City Sports Center
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente O, Street Party Bands
That visual ek ek has nothing to do with us the mere visitors, and yes, I wonder why it has to be bannered like so in the Sinulog's list of activities. For the unfamiliar, it does look like its such a big event to watch. Fact is, you have watched them one way or the other. What is it? Well, on that day, judges make the rounds of the malls and decide which has/had the best Sinulog theme decor etc. There is no "program" or something. Now the motorcade, is a motorcade. But if you'd already be in town and can be by the streets at such time, bring your camera. You might just spot some beautiful things. The solidarity meeting is not for the spectator too. Its just a meeting where they mostly discuss rules, standards, dos and donts during the Sinulog. The pop-music festival is a singing contest miles ahead of the Sinulog Idol. Songs are all original compositions by respected writers in the city.

January 15, 2011 (Saturday)
6:00 AM Fluvial Procession of the Miraculous Image of Sto. Niño
8:00 AM Vibration and Big Bike Rally by Vmax Owners Group
9:00 AM Re-enactment of the Baptism of Queen Juana and Rajah Humabon @ Basilica del Sto. Niño
2:00 PM Solemn Procession of the Miraculous Image of Sto. Niño
7:00 PM Sinulog Fireworks Competition @ SM City Cebu
7:00 PM Street party @ Fuente Osmeña and Plaza Independencia
8:00 PM Gala – Passionata a Cultural Heritage Celebration in Honor of Sto. Niño de Cebu @ SM Cinema I
8:00 PM Kasadya Nite Mardi Gras @ Ayala Center Cebu
8:00 PM Handumanan Concert, USP-F Theater for the Performing Arts
This is the day before big day, so you better be already in the city! That fluvial procession is where the Sto Nino is carried by boat from the St. Joseph (His father) church in Mandaue; it crosses over to the Virgin De Regla (Virgin of the Rule) church Mactan Island - thats His Mom; then onwards to Cebu City Pier and the Basilica Del Sto Nino. How did the Nino go to St. Joseph? Oh, a procession from the previous day's activities carries said statue from Basilica to Mandaue! The big bike rally is also fun to watch and many foreigners
participate - they're mostly the ones who like or own big bikes anyway, right? Yes, the dominant color is black and you're like watching some well-mannered hippies parade around town. Get the camera ready as you're surely to spot interesting oldies, even rare bikes! The re-enactment showcases how the filipinos were converted into Christianity. Ah, last year's fireworks competition was fun enough. Some were wow while some were wheh and whew! Yes, we went near the firing zone and saw a lot of faltering fireworks hehe. Again, street parties are not really parties but rock bands playing. Hmm the gala is a more formal cultural show where aside from the performances itself, the city's high and mighty (plus the wannabes) go to also show what they think is their glamorous look hehe! Also the Mardi Gras at Ayala is a show. So don't expect to find something like Kalibo's Sadsad. There is none in Sinulog.

January 16, 2011 (Sunday) SINULOG GRAND PARADE
4:00 AM Mañanita Mass @Basilica del Sto. Niño
6:00 AM Pontifical mass with His Eminence Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal
9:00 AM Sinulog Grand Parade Carousel Kick Off
7:00 PM Grand Fireworks, Cebu City Sports Center
7:30 PM Street Party Bands, Fuente Osmeña
This is the day of days! If you must attend a mass, do the 4AM one. then hit the streets and be sure to choose the best area for you to watch the parade in the about 4.8km circular route. Being there at 9AM is very late! Hints: the areas of Mango Ave (Gen Maxilom) all the way to Jones (Osmena) are most crowded esp near the 'judging stations'. Most hotels though can arrange for bleachers that are erected by enterprising folks (even the city government itself) for a fee. Going there walk-in will usually already be late. But mind you, standing just on the sides of the streets is sometimes better as you have the freedom to move along(sometimes even enter) the street for a close shot of the performances. Make sure you have easy access to water and food, though there are hundreds of ambulant vendors for that. But if you can't trust them (I don't) stay near the restaurants or similar establishments. Remember, this parade will take the whole day way until evening. So, you may have to omit watching some groups in lieu of lunch. Just make sure they're not the best groups you are missing hehe! Hats and yes umbrellas are a must. It usually rains albeit briefly but the show goes on. Then again, you can also go watch the final performances of each group at the sports center - which means you have to have your tickets (they're actually big big IDs hung as necklaces) bought way in advance as they sell like hotcakes! At least you will be seated at the grandstand - though the performers will be too far for your lowly digicam hehe! May I share with you that for the 2010 grand parade, I opted to watch from the streets while in 2009 I spent most of it at the grandstands.

January 17, 2011 (Monday)
1:00 PM Awarding Ceremonies, Cebu City Sports Center
The winners and runners-up are asked to do repeat performances. So its another showcase. Worth a peep if you missed the real big day. You can check-out my blog on the 2010 version. Entrance fee is cheaper and you can stand near the stage.

January 21, 2011 (Friday) “HUBO”
4:00 AM “HUBO Mass” Ritual @ Basilica del Sto. Niño
If you have not been to this ritual, its an interesting thing. This is that time where the Sto Nino is undressed (yes, stripped!) of His festival garments and changed by the priests into normal daily wear - WHICH do not seem to differ much after all hehe. Yes, the Nino always has a regal wear Sinulog time or not!

January 29, 2011 (Saturday)
1:00 P.M Awarding Ceremonies Photo Contest and Video Documentary Contest / Sinulog Short Film Festival
This is where the best of 'those irritating souls who keep blocking your view' are awarded. Nothing fantastic, except if you yourself are one of them. Yes the photographers and videographers who wont give a hoot if their necks or backs are blocking you view or your camera's sights, since they can go wherever they please during the festival. In fact, I know a lot of folks who join this contest just to get that ID permitting them to be IN the parade route and not just by the sides. Again, you have to register early as the deadline is always before the big day.

January 31 – Feb. 10, 2011
Photo Exhibit “Winning Photos Sinulog ‘11" @SM City Cebu

For more information: Contact Us at 253700, 2545010, telefax 4164548

That's it! Enjoy Sinulog 2011!


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