How the Sinulog Festival Highlight Has Been Canceled Again

Sinulog Dancer at the Sinulog Grand Parade

The Sinulog Festival Parade was canceled yet again in favor of a virtual event that brings nostalgia from the past decade.

For the second straight year, the Sinulog Festival Parade will be canceled in favor of a digital platform for 2022.

This will prevent public gatherings from happening after the spark of COVID-19 cases in the city in the month of January.

Cebu City has also been brought back up to Alert Level 3.


The previous year’s celebration pushed through without the street parade and only featured Sinulog dances performed at the Cebu City Sports Center.

This year’s virtual gathering will include interviews about the history of the festival, as well as videos of the performances and highlights of the festivals of the past decade. It will be broadcast on two TV stations as well as live-streamed on Facebook.

This is one of the first times in the 32 years of Sinulog Festival history where the street dancing and grand showdown of the traditional Filipino dance had to be canceled.

Fortunately, the Fiesta Señor Novena masses, which start nine days before the celebration, pushed through at the Basilica del Sto. Niño. Unfortunately, the other religious activities, such as the Procession and Traslacion, will be canceled.


The Sinulog Festival is still one of the biggest events in Cebu, with dozens of travelers and locals visiting the city to experience it. It welcomes the most tourists every year who want to see the yearly celebration.

From as early as 4 AM, devotees, enthusiasts, and travelers from the busy streets of Cebu City witness its Grand Parade. This includes the heart-pumping street dance competition, the massive prop giants, and the Grand Showdown held at the Cebu City Sports Center.

Outside the parade are several businesses that bring you the energy to help learn more about the Cebuano culture. There are also late-night raves, street parties and firework shows in different places around town.

However, Sinulog also has a solemn side to it, as it happens in conjunction with the Fiesta Señor, or the feast of the Santo Niño, the Patron saint of Cebu City. This includes a nine day novena, religious motorcades and dawn processions.

This would have also been the perfect time to experience Cebuano culture with street food vendors and small businesses going out to celebrate the occasion.


This year’s festival will also be held after the devastation of Typhoon Rai (locally known as Odette), which ravaged many Cebu tourist spots and public venues on the evening of December 16, 2021.

The local government mentioned that they will set up a fundraiser for the victims of the typhoon after the eight-hour event.

Typhoon Odette’s damage scaled to billions of pesos, with residents losing their homes, livelihoods, and even their lives. As such, this will be a great help for those who are struggling with the effects of the storm.

For the first few weeks after the typhoon, many families had to live without electricity, water, and unfortunately for some, their homes. Some families are still waiting for their utilities to return as it has been announced that the power supply around the city will be fully restored by the end of the month.

It is one of the strongest typhoons to hit Cebu, as Typhoon Yolanda also struck the island in 2013.

Odette had recorded 96 casualties, with 63 in the province, 17 in Cebu City, 9 in Lapu-Lapu, and 7 in Mandaue.

Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have no idea when public gatherings like the Sinulog Festival Parade will return. For now, many Cebuanos will be watching the event online to reminisce about the festival, long before all the social distancing restrictions were put in place. Even if we can’t experience it the way we used to, it is still something that many of us are looking forward to in the future.

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