Sinulog Festival 2013

Filipinos love to celebrate and party so it's no wonder we have hundreds of festivals happening all year long. One of them is the Sinulog Festival of Cebu happening every 3rd week of January. It is an annual festival commemorating the transition of the religion of people from pagan to catholic. It's also a celebration in honor of the Sto. Niño. It starts with the fluvial procession of the Sto. Niño carried on a boat (adorned with flowers and candles) from Mandaue to Cebu. The main feature of this festival is the grand street parade where locals perform in their bright and beautiful costumes while cleaving to icons of the Sto. Niño.

Photos by Mike Adrada

After a long time of planning, my friends and I finally made it to Cebu! :) Would you believe we booked our flights as early as July in order to get good rates for airline tickets plus the hostel? Hahaha. Yes, it might be too early but it worked. Saved us a lot of money compared to last minutes bookings.

Since we're almost 20 in our group, it was quite hard finding a hotel for all of us. Thankful to fellow TripAdvisor members, I discovered Palazzo Pensionne. It is a bed and breakfast type of hotel located in the middle and quiet part of Cebu City. Sorry I forgot to take photos of the place. It's not as bad as it looks. It's not a hotel so don't expect anything grand here. I liked the place 'coz its simple, neat and very budget friendly too!

Photos of Palazzo Pensionne, Cebu City
Facade of Palazzo Pensionne, photo courtesy of TripAdvisor.

My friends and I stayed in their executive rooms that's less than Php1,500 a day with breakfast for 2 and booked with If I'm not mistaken they charge extra Php300 daily per pax inclusive of breakfast. Not bad 'coz the room was big enough that it could probably fit around 6 adults. Take note though that we booked our rooms months in advanced so we got an early bird rate. Palazzo Pensionne management or owner probably got pissed that we we're able to get cheap rates even during the peak season. Overall, the lesson here for travelers is to book in advanced while hotels must adjust their rates depending on the season. :)

Good thing they have cable tv. :)

Towels, shampoo and soap were provided.

Here's a photo of my friends sleeping like a baby after partying the night before. Sorry RT and Francis for posting this picture. Readers need to have an idea how awesome the beds are in the executive room. Very comfy ano? ;) Hahaha.

Moving on to the grand street parade..

We left our hostel around 10 to catch a glimpse of the parade plus attend the mass at Basilica Del Sto Niño.

The calm before the storm. It was the beginning of our "holy sacrifice" also known as the never ending walkathon around Cebu.

A lot of people were on the streets that day and I mean A LOT. Like hundreds of thousands of people. My friend Pel lost her Blackberry even before reaching our destination so be careful of thieves and snatchers.

It was pretty impossible to get near or inside the church so we had no choice but to hear mass from the outside. Can't help but notice the amount of trash all over the place. Super kalat! But hey, the streets were wiped-out/cleaned right after the event so I guess it's all good. ;)

Here are some snapshots from the parade:

Photo by Melanie Hernandez

Candy, Lanie, Anj and Pel posing with the Yakult mascot. :) Photo by Mike Adrada

We even got the chance to ride a jeepney thinking it could bring us directly to this place called Baseline. Not!

In the end, jeepney driver dropped us off somewhere and we started walking again... haha. What a fail. We managed to smile and have fun though despite the heat and all that. :)

We probably walked for about 2-3 hours just to reach our final destination. Don't forget to bring a map or use built-in map applications from your smart phone, it helped us a lot! :)

After having our super duper late lunch, my friends went straight to Baseline while I decided to go back to our hotel and get some rest. I wasn't really in the mood for partying after all the walking we did earlier that day. Whew!

Pel, Candy, Kokoy and Anj. Photo by Melanie Hernandez
Glad to know my friends had loads of fun. Haha. And I mean clean fun.. di ba Rap? ;) Lol.

P.S. Going back to the hostel wasn't that easy. Streets are still very much crowded even before sunset, we had to wait for the parade to finish. Interestingly while waiting, we spotted a group of men carrying this huge snake:

Eeeeep! I wouldn't want to be trapped in that area. I hate snakes! Scary!

Freaked out a bit when the guys started walking towards our waiting area. I have no idea why they need to show off the snake but it did attract most of the tourists. Haha.

As you can see from the photo my face/skin got literally sun burnt from all that walking. Make sure to apply protective sunscreen beforehand! :)

Overall my first Sinulog experience was a blast! :) Couldn't wait to come back next year! Pit Señor! ;)


  1. Hi just a question. What month kayo nagpabook sa palazzo? :)

    1. Hi Kristel! :) June-July pa lang nag-book na kami.