There are many things that add to and represent the vibrancy of Cebu but none of them as colorful as the various Cebu festivals held annually. With centuries of different beliefs and being the melting pot of cultural diversity, Cebu festivals are more than just fun activities to participate in or watch, these events are also enlightening.
There is no Cebu festival that is as famous as the Sinulog Festival. Held every third day of January this Cebu festival is in honor of the patron saint of the province, Santo Nino de Cebu. The Cebuanos’ faith in their religion is something that has remained a constant despite the end of the Spanish occupation of the Philippines. Basically, the Sinulog Festival is a step back in time to when the province was converted to Christianity. In honor of the patron saint, several parades are held during the Sinulog Festival and dancers dressed in colorful costumes dance to the rhythm of drums and other musical instruments. It’s hard not to get carried away with all the spirited dancing during this Cebu festival. The Sinulog Festival is celebrated for 9 days and on the last day, the grandest parade is held that starts off very early in the morning. The Sinulog Festival would not be complete without including the Santo Nino de Cebu in the parade adorned with candles, flowers and other relics. This Cebu festival starts in Mandaue with Basilica as the ultimate destination.
The next Cebu festival on the calendar is the Marawi Festival which happens in May. Marawi Festival is held in Mandaue and this is really a celebration of Cebu’s past and the crucial role that it played when Magellan first landed here. Parades and street dances are common during the Marawi Festival but in addition to those, plays and dramas are also held. The theme of these plays is historical events and by watching it, one will get to learn about the history of this province and understand the importance of it. During this Cebu festival, figures from Cebu’s myths and legends are on display in floats that parade around the city. The Cebuanos works on these creative designs for months on end prior to the Marawi Festival. At the end of the Marawi Festival, the grandest fireworks display illuminates the night sky. There really is no better way to end a whole day of reminiscing and celebration than by watching the fireworks display at the end of a very well organized Cebu festival.