The Cebu Sinulog Festival is an annual mardi gras of colorful costumes and pomp street dancing, in commemoration of the time when the first Filipinos embraced Christianity, or Catholicism to be specific.

This happened in Cebu, Philippines way back in 1521, when the great Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived and planted the cross on the shores. It was said that when Magellan presented an image of the baby boy Jesus (the Sto. Nino image) to the island’s ruler, Rajah Humabon and his wife Hara Amihan, the natives performed their dance ritual.

Thus the basis of what is today’s Sinulog street dancing – with participants in various costumes all in vibrant colors, matched with a lively beat of music (check out the video, a great youtube find – kudos to  Jerrold Tarog who made this). The Sinulog dance step is easy to follow – two steps forward and one step backward, and a few steps to the left and right movement.

The best Sinulog Short Documentary Film I’ve ever seen!


More Sinulog Photos after the jump!

The Cebu Sinulog Festival draws tens of thousands of visitors from the Philippines and the rest of the world. It is actually a 9-day festival, with solemn novena processions, fluvial parade at the Cebu-Mactan strait, Miss Sinulog pageant, street dancing contests in different categories and many more.

It’s a different experience when you’re actually part of the fun and merry-making. When I was small, my family used to put up a big bleacher along Jones Avenue, where we could easily watch every dancing contingent that passed by.

So if you want to experience Sinulog as well, better block out the third (3rd) Sunday next year and book an early flight and hotel accommodation in Cebu.

Check out these cool photos of the Sinulog Festival (these are photos from the 2008 Sinulog). More on

Photo Credits: and

Sinulog Themes: Listen to the Sinulog beat!


Click here: Sinulog Drum Beat

Check out for more Sinulog beats