Friday, January 3, 2014

SINULOG FESTIVAL 2014 At The Queen City of the South.

Sinulog Festival is the highly anticipated fiesta in the queen City of the South. For many years it has been considered as the grandest festival in the Philippines celebrated every third Sunday of January in honor to the Child Jesus-Sto. Niño. Sinulog means a graceful dance ritual accompanied by a drum which historically remembers the Cebuano and the Filipino pagan past and the acceptance of Christianity in the country. It is already in history that once Sinulog mentioned it’s all about Cebu and when Cebu is the topic it’s a house of Sinulog. No other festival in the Philippines that may be compared to Sinulog in terms of purpose, number of devotes and even the way how it is celebrated. Here is a tentative line-up of activities of Sinulog Festival this year:

December 30, 2013 Sinulog Fun Run. January 9, 2014 Opening Salvo; Installation of Hermano and Hermana Mayores, Walk with Jesus. January 10, 2014 Sinulog 2014 Kick-off: Street Party bands, Launching parade, Sinulog Idol. January 11, 2014 Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan, Cultural Show. January 12, 2014 Cultural Show, Grand Finals of Sinulog Chorale competition. January 13, 2014 Sinulog street Party & cultural show. January 16, 2014 welcome party of Balik Cebu (Balikbayan na Cebuanos) January 17, 2014 Traslacion, Walk with Mary, Sinulog festival Queen Competition. January 18, 2014 Grand Fluvial Procession, Street Party, Reenactment of Baptism of queen Juana. January 19, 2014: Pontifical Mass, Sinulog grand parade. January 20, 2014 awarding ceremonies.  January 24, 2014 Hubo mass ritual. January 25, 2013 Photo exhibit/competition.

It is expected that as usual, millions of devotees and tourists will occupy the busy street of Cebu and anticipated as well that ports and airport are busy for this month. Over the years Cebu that tagged as Queen City of the South is the most loved place in the Philippines by tourists both local and foreign. It is because of some historical places, significant items and brands and the most beautiful white sand beaches that are all available in Cebu.

Common places and foods that you shouldn't miss while in Cebu:

The Historical Cross of Magellan.
One of the famous spot that tourists never forget to visit while in Cebu is the historical and legendary Magellan’s Cross.
This is a Christian cross planted by the Portuguese and Spanish explorers headed by Ferdinand Magellan when they arrived in the Country on April 1521. Though this is no longer the original cross but still many people venerate this for the fact that the original form is encases in this Tindalo wood cross.

The cross is now placed inside a kiosk closer to the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino and is just in front of Cebu City Hall at Magallanes Street, (Magallanes street was named after Ferdinand Magellan. Magallanes is Magellan’s Spanish name) Cebu City proper.

Taoist Temple
Taoist Temple is situated in Beverly hills, Lahug Cebu City. This is the center for worship of Taoism religion in Cebu built in 1972 by the Chinese community in Cebu. This is open for both worshipers and non worshippers so many tourists are visiting this place day by day. This is just 20-30 minutes away from the Metro Cebu but sometimes due to heavy traffic it would take you lesser than hour to get there. Transportation is not so frequent because the situation of the temple is in very private subdivision to better to take a ride in taxi or in habal-habal if without private vehicle.

 Marian Temple                 
This Marian Temple in Lindogon, Sibonga, Cebu or most commonly known as Simala Shrine is another famous center of catholic worship in Cebu. Thousands of devotees coming in daily offering prayers and petitions to loving mother because this is believed to be miraculous. It was believed that the image of mother Mary is shedding tears of blood – a phenomenon that lacks of scientific or any artificial validation but draws more people attention over the years.
You won’t believe that this Shrine appear to be so spacious but during Sundays this has almost no more space due to volumes of devotees coming in to venerate the miraculous image of Mama Mary. It would take some efforts in going there. From Cebu City you need a bus ride of almost 2 hours from South Bus Terminal and from the highway another 15-20 minutes in habal-habal or tricycle ride. Though you might be experiencing some risks and stressful travel but all these things will be reconciled by the serenity of the place and the distinctive behavior and accommodation of the Marian monks and of some loyal and religious conservatives. 

When it comes to foods and delicacies Cebu is also number one and well known place that offers a variety of local foods that are tastier and likeable. Number one in the list is the Lechon de Cebu which is proven to be the most delicious variety of lechon in the county so far. This is the number one fiesta serving of Cebuano’s and even in some simple occasion like birthdays, reunions, group outings and gatherings.   
There are many restaurant and fast food chain the serve lechon for meals. This is also available in pasalubong   package because many tourist love to bring this home when they visit Cebu. Truly, you will never enjoy your stay in Cebu if you won’t taste Lechon de Cebu of its kind. Prices per kilo are ranging from 380-400. 

Another famous local food in Cebu is Bibingka or locally called “Bingka” in Visaya. This is one of the favorite local delicacies for snacks and picnic foods. This is locally made from rice flour with a very unique preparation and baking procedure. As compared to other wheat or flour-made snacks, bibingka always win our taste because of its uniqueness in ingredients which are also locally available and without any other extra added formulation or food preservatives.

Some of the best Pasalubong that were known to be the Cebu identity are the dried Sea Foods or the Danggit and Pusit to be particular. These are common in all local markets and even in malls in Cebu.

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