Cebu City—Sinulog sa Sugbo, dubbed as the country’s biggest festival, is more than just a crowd-attracting event, it also allows tourists to immerse themselves “in an experience that transcends the ordinary”, according to Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco.

The tourism chief, who graced the event as guest of honor, also described the festival as the microcosm of Cebu’s successful local tourism industry.

“The Sinulog Festival, with its kaleidoscope of colors and infectious energy, is a microcosm of Cebu’s very successful tourism industry and strategy. It’s more than just about drawing tourists, rather, it’s about immersing them in an experience that transcends the ordinary, inviting them to be part of a living, breathing culture, one that they can carry with them long after the festival lights have dimmed,” the Secretary emphasized.

At present, the province not only prides itself as an idyllic destination primarily for adventure seekers but also for devotees and pilgrims. The DOT has also lined up activities to be held in Cebu this year, including the highly anticipated hosting of the Philippines on the Commission Meeting of the Commission for East Asia and the Pacific, and the Commission for South Asia.

“I’m privileged to be here today as a Cebuano, to join all of you in the celebration of the Sinulog sa Sugbo Philippines which resonates with the beating heart of the Philippines, the rich tapestry of our culture. Our culture, our traditions, and the warmth of our people are unique facets of the Filipino identity that are invaluable assets that can captivate the entire world,” the tourism chief said in her address during the culminating activity held at Cebu City’s South Road Properties on Sunday (Jan. 21).

Now in its 459th year, the Sinulog sa Sugbo is an annual tradition of Cebuanos where they perform a dance ritual in honor of the miraculous image of the Santo Niño.

Cebuanos’ strong faith and devotion

With a theme that celebrates the devotion and faith of the Cebuano people, the Sinulog Festival stands as a reflection of the Filipino spirit.

“The Sinulog Festival is a testament to this truth, a celebration that embodies the fusion of faith, history, and artistry; a dance of devotion that tells the story of the faith of the Cebuanos and reflects the best of the Filipino and the entire Filipino nation; [and] a celebration going beyond fun, serving as a living showcase of the soul-stirring beauty embedded in our cultural heritage,” she added.

The festivities, which kicked off on January 12, started with community events such as nightly shows, parades, cultural shows, fluvial processions, firework displays, and reenactments which culminated in the grand celebration at the festival venue.

Other prominent personalities who also joined the festivities were Senators Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Cebu First Lady Malou Rama, Vice Mayor Raymond Garcia, and Sinulog Foundation Executive Director Elmer “Jojo” Labella, among others.

According to the Sinulog Foundation, more than 2.5 million (as of 6PM, January 21) revelers joined the celebration on Sunday.



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