Cebu’s Sinulog Festival: 5 Facts about the 2020 Celebrations

8th January 2020
Cebu, Philippines

The Grand Sinulog Festival of Cebu is the wildest, most beloved, and the longest celebration of all festivities in the Philippines. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, devotees, and tourists take part particularly in this grandest of parades. It consists of multi-colored, earthy street pageantry with participants donning vibrant hues and styles made of silk and trimmed or fastened with feathers. In a frenzied mood, they dance in the streets to the spell-binding beat of drums and gongs and the mantra-like cries of Pit Señor (Long live the Christ child!).
Here are 5 of the interesting things you should know when the Cebu 2020 Sinulog Festival Grand Parade happens:


There would be fewer contingents

According to official reports last January 4 (Saturday), there would be fewer contingents on the Sinulog Grand Parade on January 19, 2020. A guest contingent from South Korea, who participated last, will be back to join the 2020 parade.

The 26 contingents in the list consist of 10 contingents from Cebu City barangays. These are Brgys. Guadalupe, Basak San Nicolas, Labangon, Cambinocot, Budlaan, Kinaiyahan, Sapangdaku, Mabolo, San Nicolas Proper, and Inayawan.
Six contingents will be from Cebu Province: Carcar City, Talisay City, Ginatilan, Bogo City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Toledo City.

Seven contingents will come from neighboring provinces, which include the Sinanduloy Cultural Troop of Tangub City, La Castellanas and Santa Catalina of Negros Oriental, Bacolod City and San Carlos City of Negros Occidental, Panglao of Bohol, and Borongan City from Eastern Samar.


Phone signals will be off during the festivities

According to Central Visayas Police Regional Director Valeriano De Leon, phone signals may be shut down at major events of the Sinulog Festival. The most likely events where the networks will be cut off include the solemn procession on January 18 and the grand parade on January 19.

De Leon cites security reasons for the cutting off of phone signals. The police director also added that the exact times when phone signals will be shut off will be announced later as they are waiting for the recommendations from their officers on the ground.


The Grand Parade will end earlier

Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella said in his previous statements that the Grand Sinulog Parade 2020 should end at 7 PM, an hour earlier than last year. The mayor said that he wants the Sinulog to end early because extending the hours means spending more resources for the city. The mayor added that participants and security personnel will also be exhausted.


Security by the numbers

The Cebu City Police Office, headed by Police Colonel Engelbert Soriano, declared on January 3, 2020, that the entire Cebu City police force is 100% ready in providing security for the upcoming Sinulog 2020 festivities.
Soriano said some 2,000 police personnel from other parts of Cebu and provinces in the Central Visayas region will augment the numbers needed to secure the event. Some 10,000 to 12,000 volunteers will be needed to help police with the events scheduled during the festival.


There is a ‘Backpack’ ban

According to a report by a major daily, a backpack ban will be initiated inside the Basilica Minore del Santo Niňo, the Cebu City Sports Complex (CCSC), and other areas designated by the local authorities.
The church is expected to be packed with visiting devotees before the Feast of the Santo Niño on January 19. The CCSC will also be a primary staging point and venue for the finale of the Sinulog grand parade, which is also slated for January 19.

Aside from the ban on backpacks, Police Colonel Soriano said they would not allow people to enter the Basilica if their bags were not made of “clear” material.