Saturday, January 10, 2015

Colors in Motion: Sinulog Festival 2014

Stuffed with heavy breakfast of chicken adobo, pancit, escabeche, and rice at default, with a Lowepro bag strapped to my back and a Sinulog Festival ID hung from my neck for the very first time as a photo contest participant, I was in perpetual motion along Mango Avenue. I couldn't settle for inertia, and so did the rest. Hurried footsteps of onlookers, all headed to the roadsides and to skywalks, now shoulder to shoulder, and the mounting beats of drums and sounds of trumpets from the rope-barricaded Mardi Gras route already set the atmosphere in festive mood. A euphoric mask was on everybody's face, with some having paint all over. 

The fever had been switched on ever since earlier days on, pulsing our temples until it lasted. We screamed "Pit Señor!" 

It was a cold morning, thirty minutes past eight, and I was mindful of maneuvering my camera, capturing, at high speed, more than 30 graceful and colorful contingents from all over the country perform their dances or rituals to the rhythm of Sinulog, in honor of the Santo Niño de Cebu (Holy Child of Cebu), plus the towering higantes and puppets, and decorated floats. It had been drizzling from time to time - during lunchtime along Jones Avenue, late in the afternoon, and close to the end at around 7PM, but the spirits of performers, devotees, and those all-out-for-the-revelry alone never had dwindled, as they kept their adrenaline at the same heightened levels. Some may have been fried and burned under the sweltering heat, sandwiched between the thickening crowd from left and right, but they didn't seem to mind at all. Selfies with the contingents were in vogue. It was a beautiful chaos.

The festival culminated in a spectacular fireworks display at the Cebu City Sports Complex.

Despite failing to submit my photos, due to my hectic schedule as an OFW on vacation (I went to Boracay and Palawan two days after), the thought of experiencing Sinulog first-hand was more than enough for an amateur photographer like me. Wow, it was like having the best seat the whole day at the theatre! 

Sinulog Festival is an annual cultural event in Cebu City, which is touted to be the country's biggest and the grandest, and is celebrated every third Sunday of January.


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