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NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – Revelry appears to be just around the corner as January brings with it a host of people traveling to various places to immerse themselves in festivities.
In Kabankalan City, the 48th edition of its Sinulog de Kabankalan festival will run for ten days, leading to a January 21 celebration.
The festivities will take place from January 12 to January 21, with a more vibrant and convivial celebration, Kabankalan City public information officer Jake Gonzales said.
The festival is the city’s rendition of the iconic “Ati-Atihan” which their ancestors relished, dating back to the 13th Century.
Gonzales told local reporters on Friday, January 5, that this year’s celebration will have additional activities, including the first national drag race competition and a motorshow.
Among all other activities in the pipeline, one of the most anticipated events is the Sinulog street dance and arena competition, where ten groups are expected to take part on the last day of the celebration, Gonzales said.
During the event, participants wear colorful costumes, and bodies are painted in black while dancing on the streets, accompanied by lively beats of drums as a form of thanksgiving to their patron saint, Señor Sto. Niño.
Traditions have it that during the early days, when Moro pirates often assaulted their ancestors who used to live along the coast, they believed it was Santo Niño who saved them. To honor their patron saint, they celebrate Sinulog, and during the festivities, the community unites in a shared prayer for blessings.
Gonzales reminded visitors to maintain the peaceful atmosphere of the celebration as the festival is a thanksgiving event to Santo Niño, and everyone should respect it.
Sinulog de Kabankalan has a counterpart celebration in Cebu City, whose schedules fall almost on the same dates.
“Sinulog” comes from the Cebuano word “Sulog,” which means movement like that of the river current. It is a nod to the dance steps used during rituals devoted to the Senior Santo Niño.
National celebrities are also expected to grace the festival to bring additional entertainment and joy to the people of Kabankalan, Gonzales said.
Further, security personnel and other agencies dealing with the peace and order of the city during the festival’s duration are geared up and ready to respond as the need arises. – Rappler.com