Cebu Celebrates Sinulog 2024 at SRP for the Second Time

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Sinulog 2024 returns to Cebu SRP for the parade and festivities.

How did you spend your Sinulog 2024?

Cebu was full of fun and excitement when the Sinulog Festival came in full swing on January 21st, bringing millions of locals and tourists to witness the world-renowned event that had made the island a top tourist destination in the Philippines.

The festival’s grand parade is a highlight in itself, as the streets are filled with locals and foreigners enjoying the many festivities, especially the street dancing competition.

Viewers also get to meet famous Filipino celebrities and influencers. Other than that, they get to witness the impressive creativity of Cebuanos through the massive floats and higantes gracing the event as well.

The cultural festival is a must-watch for any tourist in Cebu, not only because of the parade and street parties, but also because of the celebration of the island’s patron saint, the Senior Sto. Niño.

For Sinulog 2024, the religious celebration and cultural festival welcomed around 3 million viewers, a massive jump from last year’s 600,000 plus viewers, when the festival was first moved to South Road Properties (SRP).

The venue change aims to highlight the establishments that opened within the area. Future iterations of the festival will still be held at SRP, as the government continues the ongoing construction of the Bus Rapid Transit.

So, what was there to see at Sinulog 2024?

HIGHLIGHTS OF SINULOG 2024

The street parade was definitely a highlight for the grand cultural festival.

Sinulog 2024 featured 17 contingents from all around Cebu City, including several locations outside the island. Groups were divided into two categories: Sinulog-Based and Free Interpretation.

Sinulog-based performances use the original dance steps of the Sinulog dance, while Free Interpretation gives contingents the discretion to create dance moves and costumes based on their own interpretation of the festival.

Each contingent competed in the Street Dancing Competition, which was on full display during the Street Parade.

 

The street dance category was once again dominated by crowd favorite Lumad Basakanon, who has represented the country in a handful of international dance competitions.

The Barangay San Nicolas-based dance troupe has joined the Sinulog Festival since 1990, with costumes and choreography already a familiar staple in the competition every year.

Their Free Interpretation performance used sharp, precise formations with awe-inspiring stunts where dancers were lifted into the air.

Another popular contingent was Tribu Mabolokon, based from the Cebu City neighborhood of Mabolo. Aside from their impressive dance moves, they are known for their expressive faces. 

The wacky facial expressions made for tons of hilarious moments, showcasing the festival’s fun and carefree nature. Sometimes dancers would even walk around and take selfies with audience members to give them some funny memorabilia. 

Other Cebu City-based groups include Banay Labangon, Abellana National High School, Activong Binaliwhanon from Barangay Binaliw, and the Sinulog sa Dakbayan winner, the Banauan Cultural Group from Guadalupe.

The festival isn’t reserved for Cebu citizens only, though, as several dance troupes from outside the island happily joined in on the festivities.

Bacolod, located off Negros Island, was a special guest performer for Sinulog 2024, with a free interpretation dance inspired by their local MassKara Festival. 

This cultural event in Western Visayas is famous for its iconic white masks, colorful costumes, and powerful dance moves, basically the city’s equivalent to the Sinulog Festival. 

Another contingent came from the Dinagat Islands, the Tribu Kamanting Performing Arts Guild.

The San Jose-based group garnered several awards, including 4th Place for the Street Dancing competition and second in Musicality for the Free Interpretation category.

Famous Filipino business establishments joined in on the festivities with their large floats. One notably enjoyable participant was Jollibee, with their float carrying a replica of the CCLEX.

The CCLEX was recently hailed as the longest bridge in the Philippines, connecting mainland Cebu to Mactan Island through Cordova.

Of course, they brought out their iconic mascot Jollibee and his friends Hetty, Yum, Twirlie, and Popo to entertain the crowds.

Other business establishments brought bands and DJs to spread the fun as they mingled with the audience. Some even brought in celebrity endorsers to excite the crowds.

Famous local celebrities present at the event include actor-turned-senator Bong Revilla, basketball star-turned-councilor Dondon Hontiveros, actors Derek Ramsay and Joshua Garcia, and a few online content creators like Zeke Abella and the “Bisaya Conyo Girl” David Cua.

Sinulog 2024 also featured cosplayers dressed up as their favorite fictional characters, led by the 501st Cebu Scariff Garrison, the Cebu branch of the world’s largest group of Star Wars cosplayers.

Members happily dressed up in their heavy armory despite the overwhelming heat.

Characters featured include Darth Vader, Boba Fett, the Mandalorian, several versions of Stormtroopers, and the Tusken Raiders.

 

Their float was also adorned in the style of a sandcrawler, appropriately designed to roam the sandy and dusty grounds of the Sinulog parade route.

Higantes were also a spectacle because of the intricate artistry and design, with some participants making use of recycled household items like rags and sacks for their creations.

The route was crowded with dozens of spectators, some clad in festive attire like Sinulog shirts, headdresses, and even face paint.

 

Several stalls at the entrance to SRP sold dozens of accessories as well, from caps to whistles and even fans.

If you’re looking for fun and memorable things to do in Cebu, you definitely should not miss the iconic Sinulog Festival. This is when hotels are fully booked all around the city, with tourists hoping to experience the massive event.

It’s one of the country’s biggest events anticipated by locals and tourists alike.

With SRP already gearing up to be one of the top places to visit in Cebu City, Sinulog 2024 shows its potential to host more festivals and events in the future.

This is another cultural celebration for the history books! With Sinulog finished, we now look forward to what the rest of 2024 has to offer.

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