Join when you are ready to SINULOG 2020
Probably we need to start with an excursion into history.
On April 7, 1521, during a round-the-world voyage, a Spanish expedition led by Fernand Magellan (Portuguese in the service of the Spanish king) entered the Philippine port of Cebu on the island of the same name. The places were civilized, and from Europeans even tried to take a trade duty. The Spaniards refused to pay, and a Muslim merchant in the city advised the Rajah not to fight the Europeans, and the demand was lifted.
A lively trade began. For iron products, the islanders easily gave gold and products. Impressed by the strength of the Spaniards and their weapons, the ruler of the island of Raja Humabon agreed to surrender under the protection of the Spanish king and was soon baptized under the name Carlos. Following him, his family was baptized, many representatives of the nobility and ordinary islanders.
At baptism, Magellan presented Raja Humabon and his wife Hare Amihan with a sculpture of the holy baby Christ (the image of Santo Nino), which is the oldest Catholic religious shrine in the Philippines and is now kept in the Basilica of Menora de Santo Niño.
According to legend, a statue of Santo Niño healed a close adviser to Rajah Humabon named Baladhey from some disease. To express his gratitude for the miracle of healing, Baladhey danced a dance of joy. In the dance steps used by the Raja adviser, he moved back and forth with raised hands, praising God.
The movement resembled the flow of water, which in the local language of the kebuano is called the word "sulog" (the flow of water in the local Pahina River). In addition, the word saulog exists in Kebuan, meaning to celebrate. Here on the basis of the "flow of water - Sulog" and "celebration - Saulog" ritual dance and received the name Sinulog.
Some historians say that such a dance was performed by the natives even before the arrival of Magellan. But after they converted to Christianity, the dance began to be dedicated to Santo Niño. Dance steps were performed to the sounds of drums.
Protecting Carlos - Humabon, Magellan tried to bring as many local rulers under his authority.
One of the leaders of the island of Mactan Lapu-Lapu (Silapulapu) opposed the new order and did not intend to surrender to the rule of Humabon. During the military confrontation, Magellan was killed.
After that, it was believed that the Santo Niño was lost.
The next Spanish expedition arrived in Cebu on April 27, 1565 (44 years later), to gain a foothold in the colony for trade in spices, and it was led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. He tried to agree on peaceful colonization, but his attempts were rejected, and then he destroyed the city, and in the ruins of one of the houses one of the Spanish sailors found a statue of Santo Niño in a pine box among various idols. According to local legend, the fact that the statue was preserved was regarded by the Spaniards as a sign of a miracle, and since then it is believed that the statue has miraculous abilities.
For centuries, locals danced Sinulogue at religious festivities in honor of the baby Christ and the statue of Santo Niño as a religious shrine.
Until 1980, Sinulog was a purely religious ritual dance performed in the territory of the Santo Nino Basilica, usually older women with candles or a copy of the Santo Nino figurine in their raised hands.
The dance consisted of alternating steps back and forth, hands were raised during the performance of the dance to endow the statue with the blessings of the child Jesus. Women were accompanied by boys beating the shot on drums
But in 1980, the regional director of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Development, David Odilao, Jr. decided to bring the celebration to a more modern level, giving it the appearance of a parade procession with dances instead of individual dances in the basilica.
In 1980, the first Sinulog parade was held at Independence Square with seven dance teams from various Cebu colleges.
The very first parade in 1980 was quite small, it consisted of dancers from 7 colleges, several platforms and giant papier-mâché dolls, and he just walked around the basilica around. But the parade captured the imagination of the locals to such an extent that it began to develop rapidly as a major cultural event of the year and soon turned into one of the largest festivals in the country, representing both a religious ritual and a colorful street spectacle.
Now the festival lasts more than a week (11 days in the next sinulog 2020), and if we consider pre-festival and post-festival events, then almost the entire month of January.
The most spectacular is the last day of the festival, which is more like a carnival. Thousands of participants dressed in fantastic costumes of all kinds of styles and inconceivable colors, hold a grand parade, which, in fact, is the final action. Procession - a dance procession moves from the Basilica of Minore del Santo Nino along the main street of Cebu towards the city center, makes a loop and returns. Moreover, the route has to be constantly increased so that the first columns do not return to the basilica even before the last participants of the procession left it.
During the festival, a huge number of various events are held daily with competitions, songs, dances, costumed performances, food, etc.
By the way, the religious component in the territory of the basilica also looks unusually impressive.
The crowd there is chanting "Viva Pit Senyor". This expression is important.
The word "Viva" means "long live," and the word "Pit" is an abbreviated version of the Kebuan word "sangpit", which means "call." The word "Senyor" refers to Santo Nino or the Holy Baby. When someone says “Viva Pit Senyor” during the holiday, it means: “Long live the calling of the Holy Baby Jesus.” These three words show the zealous and deep love and devotion of Santo Nino.
Catholics in the Philippines have more than 80% of the population. The Philippines is the third largest Catholic in the world after Brazil and Mexico. About 50% of all Catholics in Asia live in the country.
However, Filipino Catholics are not subordinate to the Vatican, they have their own Independent Philippine Church. The separation was due to the fact that after the Spanish-American War in 1891, the islands came under US control, as a result of which the church was separated from the state.
An independent Philippine church does not recognize, for example, celibacy. In addition, she canonized many fighters and martyrs of the liberation war who fell in battles with the Spaniards and the Americans. And in the country, abortion and divorce are prohibited at the level of state policy.
Here is such an interesting country of our Philippines. We will wait you on Sinulog 2020