My Sinulog 2013… on miracles and hang overs

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So its exactly the sunday after the Grand Sinulog festival last week. im back in my quaint little town of Baliuag and have ‘almost’ fully recovered from the illness it brought me which surprisingly manifested only on wednesday…yes i got sick w/ flu last wednesday until about yesterday.

when i returned i immediately immersed myself w/ my pending deliverables at work (and plus the flu) so it took a quite a bit of time for me to savor the after effects of the country’s most festive and most grand revelry for the Holy Child – the Senyor Sto. Nino.

compared to the previous years, this Sinulog was a challenging one for me as i almost did not make it to Cebu. Maybe it was divine providence that i made all through with it at the very last minute (i was even the last one to check in on my flight!) thus explains the countless times i shed a tear during the festivities.

last one to check in...

last one to check in…

this year’s Sinulog became quite unique also as i made it a point that i finally affect my Sinulog 2012 prinsipyo of ‘on the sidelines’ this year in full force. for one, i did not register in the photo contest thus no ID for all access pass. for 2, although i did brought my DSLR, 70% of the time it was left at home, i captured memories only through my phone…lol. and lastly, the family (not only me) became very active w/ the religious activities of the fiesta, topping the list is our very first ‘impromptu’ participation at the fluvial parade. it was also our first time to be entrepreneurs for Sinulog (kwento sa baba).

all geared up pero hindi nagshoot.

all geared up pero hindi nagshoot.

i wont make this long (again). photos and captions should immediately follow:

insert background music Lifedance and Sinulog 2013 party theme:

Thursday – Arrival.

what should be done upon touch down? run towards the Basilica Menor del Sto. Nino to catch the last Novena mass for the night.

see the video below as the people dance thru the Sinulog ‘Pit Senyor’ song (“Sampit” or Call on the Senyor)

priest: Pit Senyor sa mga way uyab kini..(Call on the Senyor…for those not in a relationship!)

After that heart felt and heart warming Sinulog dance at the Basilica, its time to start the sleepless yet fun nights that equates sinulog weekend. first stop: Open Mic Banawa Cebu.

solo performance.. well applauded. lolz

solo performance.. well applauded. lolz

Open Mic Banawa

Open Mic Banawa

Friday – preps for the fluvial parade.

the whole day was spent as we ready ourselves for saturday’s fluvial parade. toka toka kami ng assignment.

Mom had to endure the heat and the sun just to commute towards Carbon and buy flowers for the fluvial, she had to ‘suffer’ the long lines and the sea of people in the Basilica just for her to buy an image of the Holy Child.

knowing my mom who’s such a Donya, who has her own car and driver, never rides a jeep and calls for a specific taxi franchise – walking, jeepney rides, and standing in long lines under the heat of the sun – and to endure all these w/out her showing a slight sign of weary, is her own miracle story that she was very proud to tell the world.

another form of an 'all access' pass lol

another form of an ‘all access’ pass lol

Dad on the meantime had to juggle his time w/ his festival racket (mobile / portable bleachers) and the negotiations for the boat. (i became his errand boy from running over the permits to paying the boats men to fetching mom). at nahuli pa sila ng CITOM (Cebu’s equivalent of the MMDA) but we were all able to finish everything hours before the fluvial. another mirace story worth the broadcast.

dad's racket - mobile bleachers

dad’s racket – mobile bleachers

while i was the errand boy, i had to do everything that has to be ‘rushed’. Cebu is fast becoming a traffic burden but my own miracle story was that all of the roads i took was fast moving…the rest were a stand still. i was able to get the permits for the mobile bleachers (in Panagda-it Mabolo), buy the cloth to design our boat (SM City Cebu), fetch mom ( in Escario), fetch dad and talk to CITOM officials (in High-way Mandaue), exchange cars w/ my brother (in IT Park, Lahug) and was still able to rush to Mactan to meet up w/ the boat’s men. and when i thought my day will end just before midnight, i had to rush w/ my dad to the mardi gras route in Jones Ave. to supervise the mounting of the bleachers until around 1 AM. my own miracle story? besides being all over Cebu city in a day w/ out the traffic, i was able to sandwich 30mins of shopping for my Sinulog outfit in SM Consolacion – COnsolacion people! beat that!

Cebu po ito hindi Lanuza (papuntang Ortigas)

Cebu po ito hindi Lanuza (papuntang Ortigas)

Saturday – all for the Senyor.

the boys, all prepped up!

the boys, all prepped up!

Saturday had to start at 1AM when we left Jones ave. to go home. i knew there’s no chance at all to shut my eyes as we arrive everybody in the house was busy cooking, preparing the shirts to wearing, preparing all our Sto Nino images (dressing them up) etc etc. every body was just so excited.

and brotha becomes an impromptu florist - look at his masterpiece.

and brotha becomes an impromptu florist – look at his masterpiece.

bestt fluvial boat designer (kurtina inspired) goes to: ME!

bestt fluvial boat designer (kurtina inspired) goes to: ME!

we arrived at around 330AM in Mactan. there were already other groups who are already there for the fluvial. the mood was already very festive as drum beats has already engulfed the area. despite the very cold early morning sea breeze that we had to endure, we wasted no energy and time and started decorating the boat (kami na ang mga boat and floral designers lolz). not for long at around 5AM we started our journey towards the fluvial procession…and the rest was history.

Pit Senyor!

Pit Senyor!

me dancing... kung alam nyo lan ang dasal ko dito...

me dancing… kung alam nyo lan ang dasal ko dito…

AYJ Global family

AYJ Global family

the fluvial parade ended at around 9AM and we were home at around 10AM. i only got about an hour or so of sleep as i again had to prepare for the grand foot procession w/c was to start at 1PM. i already felt the fatigue but i knew i had to push myself and sacrifice a bit for the Senyor. another miracle, in these kinds of scanerio, its is almost close to impossible to find a taxi ride towards the procession route. i do not know how time, fate and the heaven’s connive but it took me only 5mins. and out of nowhere a taxi stopped on my front and agreed to send me to the nearest passable area of the procession route – in Jollibee Gorordo.

solemn foot procession

solemn foot procession

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the procession ended at around 7pm, and due to SUN Cellular’s incompetency, i was separated w/ the rest of my friends so i ended up going home alone. the going home part was a bit of a struggle but i still managed to be home at around 9PM. i ate dinner, raised my legs against the wall for a while and i was back in my ‘ngarag’ self and ready to party till the wee hours of sunday morning. Sonic Boom – Sinulog Blast off w/ cousins, Alchology and Mango w/ Ian and friends, and finally crossroads w/ Bryan and friends. i needed to be home by 5AM as my brother has to use his car (ginamit ko kasi sa inis ko sa kanya nung sat lol).

Sonic Boom w/ Urbandub, the Ambassadors and my cousin

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John of Urbandub!

John of Urbandub!

best in 'blard' - the Ambassadors

best in ‘blard’ – the Ambassadors

cousin dear!

cousin dear!


i think the video says enough.

the Crossroads – Alejandro’s, VUDU and Distillery

w/ Daphne!

w/ Daphne!

w/ Bryan and friends.

w/ Bryan and friends.

Slater's Ferrari

Slater’s Ferrari

Sunday – the big day

i was able to power nap for about 5 hours. by lunch time again i was on my feet and was already driving towards Ayala mall (i just needed to be there lolz). this day was so jampacked but it was quite more than my usual mardi gras sunday… again no SLRs, no all access IDs, no contingent friends from Lanao del Norter (hindi ako nagpakita lol), no Sundae Shutters…sad, and i was paint free lolz.

i sold beer, ginabot, lumpia, i almost got arrested for selling beer, pee’d at the gutters, screamed like a fan towards my sentimental crush Kaye Abad. ngumanga ng bonggels towards slater and paul jake (as if we didnt party at the crossroads a night before)…and yes Maya and Sir Chief hahaha! I wont mention na lang that i thought the gutters of yellow cab in Mango was my bed hihi…

btw, i must say, i shuldnt have broken the tradition of fireworks display watching in ayala, ang pangit ng sa crown regency…

my sunday ended at around 1AM, man my eyes are involuntary shutting itself already and i still need to be home.

Beer for sale!

Beer for sale!





our ginabot and lumpia station - racket no. 2

our ginabot and lumpia station – racket no. 2

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ubusin na yan!

ubusin na yan!

Monday – bed ridden.

Tuesday – home base… naiwanan ng flight hahaha!

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and that was how my sinulog 2013 fared. cant wait for 2014! sama ka?


My Sinulog 2012 experience

Yet again, Cebu’s grandest festival, the SINULOG has rocked Cebu (and the whole country as well for being the mother of all festivals) and i didnt stop myself to experience how amazing this festivity is.

2012 will be the second ‘laid back’ sinulog for me as i tried to stay away from the ‘limelight’ and enjoy the revelry on the sidelines just like what usual Cebuanos do. plus the fact that i didnt have a camera charger w/ me (this deserves a separate blog), i saw the whole festivity coming from the outside and i am loving it more that way.

so here’s how my Sinulog 2012 experience went:

Jan 12, 2012 thursday – the arrival

every balikbayan and tourist’s Sinulog experience starts from his/her arrival at the airport. sa Tarmac pa lang sayawan na!

there wasnt much hustle on my thursday night. it was time well spent with family through the novena mass in the basilica followed by dinner in Ayala.

rains did not deter the millions of devotees during the novena mass in the basilica

the batobalani wave, one of my photos back then

January 13, Friday Nights …onwards.

Probably this year’s Sinulog became one of the best as few of my relatives from the states surprised us when they came home for the celebration.

dinner at Parklane Hotel

Parklane at night

it was also the first time for me to actually go on board an acoustic session…kapalmuks!

'people say that i'm a fool, well i dont know...'

after the mini reunion , its time to experience the much celebrated Sinulog Friday nights with my backstage boys brothers. ITpark, Penthouse and Alchology were the places to be.

party rock w/ the backstage boys

Alchology it is

January 14 – Fluvial Parade, Solemn Procession and Sabado nights

with barely 2 hours of sleep and an already acidic stomach, i had to rush back to the city to witness the fluvial procession. by this time i was already feeling the fatigue so i had to go to dad’s office to get some sleep and meet again the relatives and prepare for the afternoon’s solemn procession. we had lunch at the office and decided to go on our separate ways as i had already said yes to my BFF’s Gino and Jane to go with them during the procession- its already a tradition for the 3 of us.

thanks to Val Casuco for this photo

since i didnt have my cam with me, i had to settle with my phone cam to capture images during the solemn procession

my saturday had to end again in the city’s happening places. it started w/ jamming at patio ecila with elmer shox and chai apale’s friends, a few second stint at the penthouse and quite a poignant farewell drinking session w/ a friend in Mango as he was about to leave for Singapore the monday after. no photos kasi medyo seryoso naging usapan lol.

January 15, Sunday … Viva Pit Senyor!

by sunday morning, i really felt i was a few pounds lighter. ‘murag naglutaw’ in bisaya as i have not slept at all since saturday night. my day started with the Accenture Pep Rally where one of my dreams finally came true as i met the FEU pep squad – one of the country’s best cheer squads (frustrated cheerdancer kaya to). after i had lunch w/ Gino, Jane and their officemates. a little after lunch time i met up with a friend to stroll around the parade route (para naman magka sense ang photo contest ID ko). by this time i brought w/ me my cam in high hopes (even if i knew it wont) that it would turn on and display even a single battery bar so at least i could take a few shots. by some stroke of luck (but i call it miracle), when i opened it, it displayed a full bar! i was so extatic on that day that i was able to take 200 shots more. that was more than enough for the unexpectant me. my cam died down while taking fireworks shots but i was already all good that night so no issues.

FEU pep at the Accenture Pep Rally

some shots i got during the grand mardi gras

here’s to end a grand celebration…party party!! thanks to Henry and friends for adopting me.

January 16, 2012, Monday…borlogs and Mom’s rant.

stayed at home until around 2 pm, had to listen though w/ mom’s never ending rants on having enough time to rest and sleep. went to dad’s office to bum around. printed return ticket (made sure i had one hehe) and went to Parkmall for grocery. slept at 9PM very early after a looong time.

January 17, 2012, Tuesday, back to sad reality.

6am flight back to Manila, remembered how the weekend rocked. remembered how i cried when i saw the Holy Child, remembered how i thanked Him when he passed by us during the procession, remembered how happy i was w/ the people i were with. remembered how i missed Cebu, my home.

Sinulog 2012 Schedule Of Activities

are you ready for Sinulog 2012?

Sinulog 2012 Schedule of Activities:

Dec 01, 2011 – Jan 31, 2012 Sinulog Street Fair, Osmeña Blvd.
December 2, 2011 bre_ambungan’s adlawng natawhan
December 11, 2011 2nd Sinulog Cup Baseball Tournament
December 15, 2011 Sinulog Photo Exhibits @SM City
December 16, 2011 Sinulog on the Spot Painting Contest
December 17, 2011 Sinulog Poster Making Contest @ Emall
December 18, 2011 Sinulog Best Dance Crew Elimination
Sinulog Musicfest Elimination

January 05, 2012 (Thursday) Opening Salvo: Walk with Jesus
4:00 AM Assembly Time (Area) Fuente Osmeña
4:30 AM Start of Walk-Fuente Osmeña Blvd. – Basilica del Sto. Niño
5:30 AM Installation of Hermano & Hermana Mayores 2012

January 06, 2012 (Friday) Sinulog 2012 Kick Off
2:00PM Solemn Mass (Basilica del Sto. Niño) sponsored by the Sinulog
Foundation Inc . and Cebu City government
3:00 PM Launching Parade (Basilica del Sto. Niño to Cebu City Sports Center)
7:00 PM Opening and Launching Program, Fuente Osmeña
7:30 PM Ms. Cebu 2012 Presentation
9 :00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
10:00 PM Street Party Bands

January 07, 2012 (Saturday) Sinulog sa Kabataan – Lalawigan
1:00 PM Parade of Participants, Capitol Site to Cebu City Sports Center
2:00 PM Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan, Cebu City Sports Center
4:30 PM Awarding of Winners
6:30 PM Cultural Show (Fuente Osmeña)
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente Osmeña , Street Party Bands

January 08, 2012 (Sunday) Sinulog sa Kabataan- Dakbayan
4:00 AM Cebu City 2012 Marathon –
1:00 PM Parade of Participants, Plaza Independencia to Cebu City Sports Center
2:00 PM Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan, Cebu City Sports Center
4:30 PM Awarding of Winners
6:30 PM Cultural Show (Fuente Osmeña)
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente O, Street Party Bands

January 09, 2012 (Monday)
6:30 PM Cultural Show (Fuente Osmeña)
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente O , Street Party Bands

January 10, 2012 (Tuesday)
6:30 PM Cultural show (Fuente Osmeña)
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente O , Street Party Bands

January 11, 2012 (Wednesday)
9:00 AM Airport Welcome (Balikbayan Flights)
6:30 PM Cultural Shows (Fuente Osmeña)
7:00 PM Ms. Cebu 2012 Coronation Night, Waterfront Lahug Hotel
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente O , Street Party Bands

January 12, 2012 (Thursday)
9:00 AM Airport Welcome (Balikbayan Flights)
6:30 PM Cultural Shows (Fuente Osmeña)
6:00 PM Balik Cebu, Welcome Party @ Ayala Center Cebu
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
8:00 PM Handumanan @ Ayala Terraces
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente Osmeña , Street Party Bands

January 13, 2012 (Friday) Visual Merchandising Contest(Dept. Stores and Malls)
4:00 AM Walk with Mary (Area) Fuente Osmeña-Sto. Niño
9:00 AM Solidarity Meeting (All Competing Contingent /Floats / Higante / Puppteeters Cebu City Sports Center Gym
5:00 PM Sinulog Best Dance Crew Grand Finals
6:00 PM Sinulog Musicfest Band Competition Grand Finals
6:30 PM Cultural Shows (Fuente Osmeña)
7:30 P.M Cebu Popular Music Festival, Cebu Coliseum
7:30 P.M Sinulog Festival Queen 2012, Cebu City Sports Center
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente O , Street Party Bands

January 14, 2012 (Saturday)
6:00 AM Fluvial Procession of the Miraculous Image of Sto. Niño
9:00 AM Re-enactment of the Baptism of Queen Juana and Rajah
Humabon Basilica del Sto. Niño
2:00 PM Solemn Procession of the Miraculous Image of Sto. Niño
7:00 PM Sinulog Fireworks Competition @ SM City Cebu
7:00 PM Street party @ Fuente Osmeña and Plaza Independencia
8:00 PM Kasadya Nite Mardi Gras @ Ayala Center Cebu

January 15, 2012 (Sunday) SINULOG GRAND PARADE
4:00 AM Mañanita Mass @Basilica del Sto. Niño
6:00 AM Pontifical mass with His Eminence Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal
9:00 AM Sinulog Grand Parade Carousel Kick Off
7:00 PM Grand Finale and Fireworks, Cebu City Sports Center
7:30 PM Street Party Bands, Fuente Osmeña

January 16, 2012 (Monday)
1:00 PM Awarding Ceremonies, Cebu City Sports Center

January 20, 2012 (Friday) “HUBO”
4:00 AM “HUBO Mass” Ritual @ Basilica del Sto. Niño

January 28, 2012 (Saturday)
1:00 P.M Screening of Finaslists Short Film/Video Documentary Contest
6:00 P.M Awarding Ceremonies Photo Contest and Video Documentary
Contest @SM City Cebu

January 30 – Feb. 10, 2012 Photo Exhibits “Winning Photos Sinulog ’12 @SM City Cebu

Sinulog Chronicles IV – the fluvial parade



photos taken during my very first attendance of the fluvial parade. i was still using my A610 powershot digicam since i dont have my SLR yet during that time.

Another of Sinulog’s goose-flesh worthy event is the fluvial parade celebrated on the dawn of the 3rd Saturday of January just before the re-enactment of the Christianization of the Philippines that is held at the Basilica and the holy procession. this has been a tradition that the Holy Child visits His parents before the grand fiesta celebration. first, he leaves Basilica to visit his step father St, Joseph at the St. Joseph’s parish in the nearby city of Mandaue. He stays there for a night. throngs of devotees would usually follow the Holy Child in this journey and have a vigil at the parish. by day break He would now fetch His mother in Mactan Island at the City of Lapu Lapu (Our Lady of the Rule). This is where the fluvial parade takes place.

it is both a very solemn and a very festive moment all rolled up into one with the faithful in fervent prayer and at the same time fireworks, drum beats,sirens and horns from ships are heard and seen. add to the revelry the private planes and helicopters from the Armed Forces of the Philippines throwing confetti and flowers to the parade. and do not forget the millions of devotees on both ends (Cebu city and Lapu Lapu city) lining up on the shores eager to take a glimpse of the Holy Child being drifted around the Mactan channel. even the old bridge is not spared from these devotees.

more photos from my fellow Sundae Shutter ALDO NELBERT BANAYNAL:




Sinulog Chronicles III – the Sundae Shutter family through the years

the people that I share my passion with. they have made my Photography career (as if i have one) blossom (so gay…)! its with the Sinulog festival that we gather as one in the streets to shoot. we only have one common goal and that is to SHOOT FOR HIM! im on my 3rd season now doing this w/ them. for the love of photography and for the love of the Holy Child.

im not quite sure when this group was formed and who contrived it (actually si burts man tingali but master aldo banaynal did all the officail virtual documents to legalize the group) but yeah when everybody agreed to be part of it, i was one of the everybody who agreed to be part of it lol.








Sinulog chronicles II – ‘Ang mga Nangilaba’

This i should say ‘phenomenon’ that is unique to Cebuanos (you cant have this in any other place) will forever give me goose flesh and even teary eyes.

the 2010 Sinulog was probably the most heartwarming for me because for the very first time i was able to complete the 9 day novena mass. 9 days of pious prayer. 9 days of surrendering everything to the Lord. 9 days of ‘pangilaba’. 9 days of Batobalani sa gugma.

the Batobalani sa Gugma which is being sung during the Gosos of the Novena Mass

Batobalani sa gugma,
Sa daan tawo palanga.


Dinhi sa siudad sa Sugbo
ang matahum larawan.
sa unang mga misionero,
sa usang balay hipalgan.
Kanila ikaw nagpakita
gikan da sa imong gugma.


Giludhan ikaw gisingba
niadtong mga kaparian
sa tanan nga katawhan
sa mga ponoan nila:
kay sa pagtan-aw kanimo
Kristianos sila nahimo.


Ang singbahan gipatindog
niadtong mga tawhana,
aron ang larawan nimo
dunay usang puluyanan.



Sinulog Chronicles I – the prelude

a 2007 photo - my very first Sinulog shot

a 2008 photo - i love this

A 2009 photo - Sinulog Queen

Sinulog Beat – Viet Music. <- click to listen

as i traverse myself on my way home from tuazi's bday celeb (hapi boitday tuazown!) i came to pass by this very familiar, and indeed very enchanting sound that caught my attention. it did awaken my tipsy brain cells and almost got myself grooving inside my ride…it was so familiar and it was the beat i have been waiting for the whole year–>that infamous SINULOG BEAT…

‘tsug tsug tsug tsug teeehhhht teeeehhhht thhheeeeerrrreeet tenteeehnteeen hah! thhheeeeererrreeet tenteeehnteeen hah tereehhht tehhhteeeet tsug tsug tsug tsug! ting ting ting tiringitng tingtingting pit senyor pit senyor tala magsaulog! sinulog syagit ug kusog pit senyor pit senyor tala magsaulog!’

to those who havent witnessed or heard about sinulog, then you might be thinking i dont make any sense…but w/ us true blue cebuanos or any bisaya all over the country, i bet 101% that you actually know how that beat above would sound, and u actually sang it, dats for sure!

i actually saw a group of dancers who were practicing a dance routine ala Sinulog style, im pretty sure thought that it wasnt for the sinulog yet but for the fiesta celebration of Lapu Lapu City w/c is like in 10 days time. I believe u already noticed that almost all festivals in Cebu have similar beat, and obviously they have pattern it w/ the Sinulog. it caught my attention and got me really excited. in 2 months time Cebu is going to be in a festive mood again…and i can already smell ‘PARTY’….if you havent been to Sinulog then you havent experience the best mardi gras and the best party scene in the country! its like 3 days of pagwawala and you still have the energy to witness the longest and biggest parade on the fourth day…its simply ecstatic!

but far above all those partying and stuff, it is also the time to see millions of Filipino catholics showing their devout faith and providence to the señor Sto. Niño. Its the time when all Cebuanos just unite and join together to pray and just celebrate the Holy Child’s feast. year after year, i just cant help but cry when i get to join and see 2 million devotees join the PEACEFUL procession and sing the ‘batobalani’ w/ hands in unison. its definitely a sight to behold! and yes, i love to witness the fluvial parade too!

maybe its that one thing im very proud about being a Cebuano. I already plotted my schedule for January so that I can join the procession and watch the mardi gras. hehe!

but i still have the Lapu Lapu fiesta and the cebuano Christmas season to be excited about before Sinulog (come on, it starts w/ Lapu Lapu’s fiesta, then Christmas, then Cebu just doesnt stop until Sinulog and eventually Valentine’s day! ganyan ka festive ang Cebu!!!! partaaay!!!!)

oh speaking of sinulog namiss ko na naman ang Sto. Niño Village where we also do our own Sinulog festival among the home owners. for two years i was part of the yellow tribe dancers…it was something unforgetable and something i would keep in my heart. I miss my neighbors and friends there…=( I wish one day i will find time and a way to dance with them again.

Viva Pit Senyor!