All roads lead to Cebu City as this year’s Fiesta Señor and Sinulog Festival come to an end on Sunday, January 21.
Thousands of devotees sing and wave to the “Gozos” or the “Batobalani sa Gugma” (Magnet of Love) during the Novena Masses, leading to a solemn Pontifical Mass presided over by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma on Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, locals and tourists from all over the world fill the city’s streets, witnessing ritual dance performances showcasing the heritage and culture of different municipalities and cities in Cebu.
All these culminate in a grand celebration on the South Road Properties, adorned with large festival floats and costumed higantes (giant puppets), and attended by famous celebrities like Benjie Paras and his sons Andre and Kobe, Jak Roberto and Paul Salas.
This year’s festivities were not devoid of controversies, however.
In the previous weekend, members of the Muslim community called out a Sinulog performance for being culturally “insensitive,” leading to Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama apologizing on behalf of the performers and the Sinulog organizing committee.
Some Cebuanos on TikTok also took to “spice up” the famous Sinulog ritual dance, drawing ire from other netizens who called it disrespectful to the tradition.
In this Rappler Recap, Visayas reporter John Sitchon discusses the highlights of this year’s Fiesta Señor and Sinulog Festival. Watch the video here. – Rappler.com