Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cebu Sinulog Festival 2009 "Viva Pit Señor"

The "Sinulog Festival" is a nine day celebration beginning on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City, Philippines. Held in honor of the baby Jesus (or Santo Niño), there is great religion significance to the festival, and people flock from all over the world to participate. But it isn’t just a homage paid to Cebu’s patron saint, the Santo Niño, it’s also a recognition of the pagan roots of the people, and their eventual choice to convert to the Christianity brought to them by the foreigners who passed through their great land. It’s a beautiful festival of past and present traditions, or pride in the original beliefs of the people, as well as the ones they adopted as their own.

Think of it as something beyond a mere religious event, as it’s also a huge party dedicated to the rich culture of the Philippines, and an experience you will never forget.

This has been an ongoing tradition for Cebuano's. The devotion to the Holy Child (Santo Niño)was brought to the Philippines in the 1500’s. As is so typical in these stories of religious devotion in the Philippines, the people were in a state of expectation for the Holy Child as he was prefigured in their animist religion. When Magellan arrived, things began peacefully. The Queen of Cebu, Ratu Humanay, was very touched when encountering the Santo Niño statue that Magellan brought with him. She asked to be baptized. People often time think that the Santo Niño de Cebu devotion is the same as the Infant of Prague. The Filipino devotion has an earlier history since Magellan landed in 1521 and the devotion was revived when Legazpi arrived in 1565. Magellan was killed by Lapu-lapu and the remains of the Spanish fleet hobbled back to Spain. The crew of 250 was reduced to 8. It took some years for the Spanish king to put the Philippines back on its immediate agenda.

When Miguel de Legazpi returned, he fired on the village. Probably in retaliation for Magellan’s death. Several of the huts caught fire, then the wind changed and the rest of the village was kept from burning. One of the Spanish soldiers found a chest with Spanish rope tied around it. In that chest was this statue of the Santo Niño, lying hidden for 44 years. It was the statue given by Magellan to Ratu Humanay. When I was a little girl back in my hometown Cebu, Philippines, I knew so many people who had a deep devotion to the Santo Niño. Stories about prayers answered, tragedies averted, jobs gotten, narrow escapes abounded in the lore of the answered prayer. Filipinos have an external way of showing religious devotion. They are big on ritual, fiesta, public encounters with the Divine.

The Festival...







Viva Pit Señor...! Viva Pit Señor...!

3 comments:

Euroangel said...

kanindot sa mga pix...mustamuz...nus-a kaya ta kauli ani sa ato arun tan-aw sinulog!!

Hapi said...

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Ann said...

Great comments you guys! Thanks again! Well, I am hoping to attend the next Sinulog next year! I'm not keeping any promises to my family but if the time will let me, I will celebrate it to the fullest! How I wish if we can all celebrate the same time! right? Talk to you later my beautiful cousin!