As Cebuanos anticipate the Sinulog festival returning to an in-person setup this 2023, Cebu tourist spots spread the excitement through their very own festive displays.
One of the city’s biggest nature parks, the Plaza Independencia, elevates this celebration with the Kalingawan sa Plaza, a night market and food park featuring some of the city’s best local cuisine.
The plaza is a walking distance from the Basilica del Sto. Niño, making it the perfect stop-over after mass or any other religious activities.
The nightly setup started on January 6th, turning the historical landmark of a park into more than a place to walk around and get some fresh air. The various stalls selling delicious Filipino food and novelty products make it a fun place to celebrate the festival.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE PLAZA INDEPENDENCIA DURING SINULOG
Most of the stalls at the Plaza Independencia specialize in Filipino barbecue and street food, which have been popularized all around Cebu. There are a ton of options for you to choose from, so expect that there will be something for everybody.
Barbecue skewers are popular, but Filipino barbecue stalls serve many types of grilled dishes, from chicken to pork belly and tuna panga to scallops. These dishes are best served with several pieces of puso or hanging rice.
If you prefer something more familiar, you can visit Chowking. This local fast-food chain is famous for its authentic Chinese food. You should definitely try out their Chao Fan Fried Rice and pair it up with Siomai.
Budget-friendly coffee has also made waves all around Cebu, ever since several small businesses have been seen serving coffee drinks for less than 50 Php. Uncle Brew is another establishment that follows this setup, serving Caramel Macchiatos for only 39 Php.
You can also purchase a Sinulog shirt to take part in the excitement of the many festivities that Sinulog 2023 has in store. The vibrant colors make it the perfect souvenir to remind you of your time during the festival.
There is also a stage for nightly performances of local acts. A livestream of the novena masses will also be shown when there are no performances.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM THE 2023 SINULOG FESTIVAL
You can expect a lot of Cebuanos to visit the Plaza Independencia because of the food bazaar, especially since thousands flock to the nearby Basilica to join the nine-day novena before or afterward.
For the nine straight days leading up to the Sinulog celebration on January 15th, the Basilica will be hosting several masses to commemorate the Sto. Niño, the city’s patron saint.
Other religious activities this year include the Fluvial Procession, where a galleon will be transporting the image of the Sto. Niño back to the Basilica from the island of Mactan.
This year, the Fluvial Procession will now pass through the newly opened Cebu Cordova Link Expressway near Cebu South Road Properties (SRP).
While most of the religious celebrations remain the same, there is a big change in the festival’s main event. The Sinulog Grand Parade 2023 will be held at the SRP, with the Ritual Showdown being held at a spacious venue near City de Mare.
The downtown area will be closed for the festival, especially since church masses at the Basilica will push through on Sunday.
Major telecommunications networks in the Philippines also confirmed that phone signals will be shut down during the event. This was carried out for many years to ensure the safety of the crowds during the event.
You can definitely look forward to having a lot of fun at the Plaza Independencia this Sinulog. It’s a whole different vibe compared to the major venues like the Basilica and the South Road Properties, but you’ll still be at the heart of Cebu, where you can join in many other festivities.
The addition of the Kalingawan sa Plaza can give you a breath of fresh air from the crowded streets, and you can enjoy a scrumptious snack or meal at the food bazaar.
If you’re looking for a place to spend Sinulog 2023, where you can also try out the many flavors of Cebuano cuisine, this is the perfect place to go. Celebrate the fun and excitement with fellow Cebuanos as you step foot at this historical landmark.