PHOTOS: Colors of Sinulog 2013

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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

NIGHT LIGHTS.

Fuente Circle in Cebu City the night before the parade

SINFULLY GOOD. Zubuchon's lechon was a must-try for visitors

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

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-

BIRD'S-EYE VIEW.

The parade is celebrated from all heights 05-

THE LADY. Reyna Juana in the form of a u0022higanteu0022 bears an image of the Santo Nino in her arms, a gift from Ferdinand Magellan after her baptism into the Catholic faith

THE LADY.

Reyna Juana in the form of a u0022higanteu0022 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

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

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

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

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

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

PACKED STREETS.

Crowds of thousands rushed to Baseline, an events place where Sinulog parties are usually held

RAIN OF BEER. Booze flowed...on everyone

RAIN OF BEER. Booze flowed...

on everyone

DANCE REVOLUTION. Young festival-goers danced all day and night-long behind Baseline. Photo by Karen Ceballos

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

SWEAT, PAINT AND BEER. People danced within limited space but with unlimited energy.

Photo by Karen Ceballos

- Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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