SPECTACULAR! SPECTACULAR! Costumes of every shape and color turned the parade into eye-candy. All photos by Pia Ranada
MANILA, Philippines - Cries of “Pit Señor!” reverberated through the streets of Cebu City last January 19 to 20 as Cebuanos and visitors from all over the country and abroad celebrated the Sinulog Festival.
READ: #PHTravel: Sinulog, Ati-Atihan, and Dinagyang
These same streets transformed themselves overnight from a vehicle thoroughfare to the scene of a very, very big party. Establishments put up their own sound systems blaring the “Sinulog song,” hip-hop tunes and the ubiquitous “Gangnam Style.”
READ: PHOTOS: Sinulog 2013
Stalls sold feathered masks and headdresses, meandering vendors carried an arm-load of bottled water and woven fans, crowds of thousands pushed their way to the side of the road, awaiting the parade of floats and costumed dancers under the glare of the sun.
READ: The meaning of ‘Pit Señor’
In the meantime, street parties were already cooking up in some parts of the city. Youths clad in a variety of Sinulog shirts smeared each other with paint, sprayed the crowd with beer (while the rest chugged them down), whistled to their hearts’ content, and held each other’s hands lest the seething, churning crowd swallows them whole.
READ: PHOTOS: Ati-Atihan 2013
A legion of photographers invaded the parade route, eager to capture the best of the street dancers dressed in glittering costumes, bearing painted shields, following their resplendent Reyna Juana cradling the Santo Niño, for whom the city cries “Pit Señor!” short for “Sangpit señor,” a call of praise, thanksgiving, and supplication.
NIGHT LIGHTS. Fuente Circle in Cebu City the night before the parade
SINFULLY GOOD. Zubuchon's lechon was a must-try for visitors
DRUM-ROLL PLEASE. The parade, held on January 20, begins to the beat of drums
BIRD'S-EYE VIEW. The parade is celebrated from all heights 05-
THE LADY. Reyna Juana in the form of a "higante" bears an image of the Santo Nino in her arms, a gift from Ferdinand Magellan after her baptism into the Catholic faith
REYNA JUANA in a Filipiniana dress made of plastic bags
A LITTLE GIRL refuses to miss the festivities, even donning a hat for the occasion
DEVOTEES of the Santo Nino bring their own image to the parade
LOVELY LADIES take their places to begin their dance
THE PARADE involved a lot of waiting, not only for festival-goers, but for the street dancers as well
THE QUEEN in all her splendor
A DANCE OF DEVOTION for the Santo Nino
A STREET DANCER uses a pause in choreography to enjoy the spectacle
TIRED BUT HAPPY. A photographer walks through the parade perhaps thinking of the great shots in his camera and the pictures still waiting to be taken
TIME TO DANCE. These kids can't wait to begin
THEIR QUEEN beams a smile to the crowd
VIVA Pit Senyor!
A FLORAL NUMBER begins solemnly
A CAREFUL ATTENTION to detail characterizes the dancers' costumes
PUT ON A SMILE. One of the many masks sold in stalls along the streets
PAINT-SMEARED and loving it. Festival-goers did not shy away from sweat, paint and festive mayhem
STREET PARTY. During Sinulog, the party was everywhere and for everyone
PACKED STREETS. Crowds of thousands rushed to Baseline, an events place where Sinulog parties are usually held
RAIN OF BEER. Booze flowed...on everyone
DANCE REVOLUTION. Young festival-goers danced all day and night-long behind Baseline. Photo by Karen Ceballos
SWEAT, PAINT AND BEER. People danced within limited space but with unlimited energy. Photo by Karen Ceballos
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