As District Presidency traveled home in the early afternoon from their visit to the Lamac Branch, traffic stalled several Km from Toledo. The Procession of Santo Nino and the Festival of Sinulog had begun. The procession would continue for the next three hours, followed by barangay celebrations late into the night.
For the past two weeks, we had heard drums, trumpets and gongs in the afternoons and evenings all over the city. The intensity increased each night. We went to sleep on Saturday night to the sound of neighborhood practices. We woke up at 3 AM to a group who seemed sounded as if they were marching through our bedroom. The noise was nothing compared to Sunday night.
The barangay across the wall from us held a big party. Large speakers were piled up in tiers higher next to, and higher than, the wall around our yard. Strobe lights colored the people and the sky. The heavy bass and drumming reverberated through the neighborhood. The metal on our roof vibrated like someone shaking a piece of sheet metal. The doors inside the house vibrated. Our bed vibrated.
We tried to out-wait the party, but finally became so exhausted that we went to bed and, amazingly, went to sleep. We have no idea when the party ended.
This was our first experience with the Sinulog, a smaller festival held in Toledo one week after the big celebration in Cebu City.
The main feature is a street parade with participants in bright coloured costumes dancing to the rhythm of drums, trumpets and native gongs. Smaller versions of the festival are held in various parts of the province, also to celebrate and honor the Santo Niño.
The Sinulog was already danced by the locals in honor of their wooden statues in the period before the Cebuanos were baptized. After1521, when the image of the famous Santo Niño was brought to Cebu and the Catholic faith was established in the region, the dance was made a part of the yearly fiesta in honor of the Santo Niño.
For pictures, see the following link: