Sinulog, Misyagit ug Kusog!
Pit Señor Kang Tatay Kini,
Pit Señor Kang Nanay Kini!
These are lines that always reminded me of the Sinulog Celebration comes January of every year. In our home, my mother has been keeping an image of the Sto Niño de Cebu. The image, which resembles the Child Jesus, is believed to bring miracle and healing to people who have faith to him, although the Catholic Church sets the Holy Child “as an example of humility, and as a celebration of the Incarnation”. And my mother is no exception. In fact, ever since I was a child, she was already telling me that my patron saint is Sto Nino as his fiesta falls on my birth date. Later on she would explain that my nickname was inspired from the Holy Child.
But since then, I never had the chance to actually set off any devotion to Sto Niño as I was probably a passive believer. Yet I am completely amazed by the turn out of devotees and believers during the Sinulog season which coincides with the feast of the Holy Child. In fact, I was in total awe seeing a display of Sto Nino collection at a high-end mall in Cebu last week during an overnight stay.
Although the highlight of the celebration is the Sto Niño’s feast, including a fluvial procession, an equally popular attraction is the Sinulog Festival. The week-long celebration involves a variety of competition ranging from photography, film-making, beauty, music and the street dancing tilt. This year, Negros Oriental must have been proud to be represented by the province’s two renowned cultural festivals, namely Sandurot of Dumaguete City and our very own Tawo-Tawo (Scarecrow) Festival of Bayawan City. Not only that, the Tawo-Tawo Festival bagged the 4th Place in the Sinulog-based category besting other 40 groups all over the country.
Indeed, the marriage of religion and culture is an opportune time for faithfuls and ordinary people alike to be united towards a common goal of devotion and merry-making, and in the process enabling economic activity.