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Sinulog


motorboy

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motorboy

I am looking at places to visit and times of when I want to be places, and I have a question about being in Cebu during Sinulog. My question is this: Is it worth it? Is it a good time for a 40 year old guy, or something more for the locals? Thanks for any information.

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udonthani

you will get a lot of different opinions here but I would normally want to avoid the big Filipine festivals like Sinulog. That is partly me though as I have never been one that much liked big crowds. The Philippines is not the only country in the world that has festivals and I usually prefer smaller scale ones in other places too rather than the bigger ones. So it is not like I do not like fiestas on principle. The smaller scale ones, and every single one of the thousands of barangays in the Philippines has one, I tend to like. It is always nice when you find yourself somewhere where their fiesta is happening or is imminent, by a fluke and which you didn't plan for.

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Rocketman

I had tickets to sit next to Rama at the sports complex and wanted to experience it just once.  Walking along the parade route was excruciating - Filipinos were all smiles in the hot, jam-packed crowd, while most foreigners looked like they just wanted to get out of there.  I made it to a corner of the sports complex but couldn't get to the entrance and finally gave up.  Police were pulling on a rope to make room for the parade participants squeezing the crowd.  There were a few times I thought someone could die as crowds pushed.  Will never attend again!

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udonthani

wouldn't mind having an ice cream van there especially if I could charge 200 pesos for a cornet at like I could at a western festival rather than about 20 which is all anybody could get away with at Sinulog.

 

otherwise, forget it.

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Headshot

I disagree. Sinulog is very interesting, and everyone should see it in person ONCE. The place to do that is in the higher-priced sections at the Sports Center. Don't sit toward the front of the stands. The roof doesn't extend out over the front seats, so you will get wet if it rains or sunburned if it doesn't. Also, sitting in the front will get you crushed by all of the adoring fans when a celebrity comes by in a float. It is much better to sit further back (higher in the stands). You can see everything since the stands are at a high enough angle that people in front of you won't really block your view, but you won't have to worry about the sun or the rain. Still bring a small folding umbrella in case it rains as you are leaving.

 

If you can get one (or have one made), bring a folding stadium seat (with foam padding). Your butt and your back will thank you because Sinulog makes for a very long day. You should get there very early in the morning (like 5 or 6 AM) and plan to stay until it is over (depending on how much it rains, that will be sometime between 8 and 10 PM. It is impossible to get through the crowds if you try to come early or leave late. Also, plan to park far away, or just take a taxi to and from Sinulog all the way from home. In any event, you will have to walk a long way (several blocks) to either get to your car or to find a taxi.

 

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You can bring some drinks and snacks with you, but in years past, they really frowned on coolers (since you have to put them in front of you, and they interfere with other spectators being able to sit or move past you. It is best to take your stuff in a cloth bag (like the ones they have at supermarkets here. They don't take much space, and don't add to the weight of what you are carrying in and out. Just bring a few cans of soda, a couple of plastic bottled waters, some small bags of chips and a little candy with you. This is just for if you get hungry or thirsty when there aren't any vendors around. For the most part, you can buy food and drink from the vendors hawking their goods in the stands. Just bring plenty of small-denomination bills with you to buy food and drinks.

 

Sinulog itself is like a huge parade where each entry does a special performance in front of the stands. It is spectacular. Seeing it on TV just does NOT do it justice. You just miss out on too much of the experience, and only see what the camera sees. But like I said, it is a good thing to do ONCE. I had a lot of fun, but it was VERY long and tiring day. Plan on sleeping in the next day.

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MarinePride

If you want to watch it in comfort I'm sure it's on YouTube.  I watched it for  a few mintues on TV over the years.  The wife and kids actually went to it the year before last and got a hotel room.  I chose to stay home, as I'm not into the crowds that are a lot worse than normal at that venue.  That's the take of someone who is not looking to meet up with a girl here though.  My wife said she saw lots of girls who were getting stupid drunk.

 

If you go watch out for pick pockets and have some good footwear.  Prepare to be uncomfortable because of the heat and humidity.

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mikejwoodnz

How do people take a pee ?

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Guy60417

 

 

Police were pulling on a rope to make room for the parade participants squeezing the crowd.  There were a few times I thought someone could die as crowds pushed.

 

I had a scary experience on Juana Osmena roughly in front of Baseline. The crowd was incredibly thick and the idiot police were allowing vehicles to try to get through. The cars were of course stalled in the melee, increasing the mess. I was pinned up against a motorcycle and could hear pieces of plastic breaking off the bike (don't know if I was the one breaking them). I don't know how the cyclist stayed upright, but I knew if he went down, so would I and several dozens or hundreds of others. Someone could easily have died.

 

 

 

You should get there very early in the morning (like 5 or 6 AM) and plan to stay until it is over (depending on how much it rains, that will be sometime between 8 and 10 PM.

 

You must have a butt of iron, Headshot. There is no way I would give even a minute's consideration to sitting somewhere like that for 15-17 hours. 

 

All that said. I enjoyed the experience -- I just hung around Fuente for a few hours, talked to the pretty girls, watched the marchers (and more pretty girls), and enjoyed the fireworks. It was fun.

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Yes, I would attend.  In 2005 we stood at the roadside.  There was no crush and the Filipinos were especially eager that I should see everything and made room for me at the front (I'm 6ft tall).

 

post-14483-0-46757800-1380781708_thumb.jpg

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Terrance

Maybe it is something like Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  I have been to a Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street on Tuesday night. If the crowd at Sinulog is anything like that, you will love your TV and the safety of your own home. 

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Jim Sibbick

It is broadcast live across the Philippines and you will see more on TV 

 

Having said that however, you should experience it ONCE. Adter that, make sure you are never in Cebu City on the third Sunday of January ever again.

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udonthani

it is much more modern and contrived than Mardi Gras or Rio Carnival. I think before about 1980 if you'd have asked to the average person in Cebu what Sinulog was all you would have got, would have been a blank stare.

 

basically they just nicked the more authentic Kalibo Al-Atihan festival which is much older and takes place at the same time. A good bit of change for the Cebu city economy though. A bit of a stroke, really.

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Skywalker

I went to the last Sinulog, it was amazing, and I thoroughly enjoyed.  I don't feel as if I need to attend another one for a few years now.

 

When I lived in Bangkok, I used to go away during the Songkran festival for the same reason.  It's very similar every year, except the crowds seem to get bigger!

 

It is certainly something that people should experience, even if only once.  And strangely, for once, I am in agreement with whippy (I may have to get therapy) the Barangay festivals are much nicer affairs, much lower key, and super friendly.

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udonthani

the earliest guidebooks I read about the Philippines never made any mention of Sinulog. It really is quite a recent thing. But they usually mentioned the Kalibo Al-Atihan fiesta. It seems like Cebu looked at it and thought hey that looks alright they're making a bit of money out of it. And why should a small place like Kalibo make a killing out of it. Let's hijack it.

 

that Mas-kara fiesta in Bacolod is also contemporary. It is not folklore, at all. Not that there is anything especially wrong with that per se, after all there are plenty of festivals in Europe and elsewhere that were totally unknown thirty or forty years ago but have now become like modern institutions.

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