Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cebu: gateway to a thousand journeys! Sinulog @ 30: c 2010

As luck would have it, Cebu became RV's (other) hometown for ten years. It opened endless possibilities for this traveler in search of home. The select friends he keeps now, he met them in Cebu--from university until the last few years of his kick-ass employment. And of course, the person that he has become, for the most part, is educated through the rough edges of his very own Cebu experience.

For starters, I love Cebu for its small city charm. And despite its smallness, it has a distinct cosmopolitan flavor to it. The discovery started at the end of my last year's journey to some of Asia's mega cities. It is small enough to drive anywhere in less than 20 minutes (of course, rush hour excluded) yet big enough to enjoy the comforts and lifestyle of a big city. Its character, aside from its birthright as center of The Philippines and therefore, built around as the gateway to all the other islands, it also has a rich history tucked in the bowels of Colon (pun intended)--the oldest street in the country.

Each January, the city streets of the oldest city in The Philippines explode with energy the color green between gold and red--from streetdancers' costumes and floats, to buntings to streamers. And the streets pulsate with a disarming festival verve. And by far, call me patronizing but the experience comes close second to none in the archipelago's 7,107 islands!

The list of things to do in Cebu is endless, so let us train our microscope to the BIG day which is set each third Sunday of January. For the uninitiated, here goes, pop your Sinulog cherries: as early as 6am, the main drag is already closed to vehicles. So the whole stretch of Osmena Boulevard (formerly Jones Avenue) winding toward Gen. Maxilom Avenue (formerly Mango Avenue) is one veritable festival junkie's paradise--body paint, henna tattoo, food stalls and what-not and everyone is in festival mood! Strangers greet each other Pit Senyor! with smiles painted on their faces.

Way before lunchtime, from a good distance, the thunder of drums and thud of floats signal the start of the streetdancing contest. And it never stops until past 8 in the evening and, thus far, never stops rain or shine.

This year, like the past two years, the Sinulog weekend will find me anywhere except Cebu because of work. In spite of a sinking feeling, my lips are pointing to where a part of me calls home...

Cebu is The Queen City of the South for a hundred and one reasons. So, after a good headstart that is Sinulog, tell me what you dig, baby!

In the mean time, here are the festival schedule and beauties of Miss Cebu 2010.

Somewhere in the mad dash between being a quiet beach town and a highly urbanized conference city, Cebu took on a charming face...a different one every year. But nevertheless, a face the city and the world became familiar with. She is Miss Cebu.--lifted from

Sinulog 2010 routes

Sinulog 2010 Schedule of Activities (Updated – January 4, 2010)

Sinulog 2010
Schedule of Activities

(Fuente Osmena, January 8-17, 2010)

Dec 01 – Jan 31, 2010
Sinulog Street Fair, Osmeña Blvd.
Janaury 2-31, 2010
Sinulog Photo Exhibits featuring 2008 Sinulog Photo
Winners , 2nd level of the Northwing SM City Cebu

January 07, 2010 (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 2010

January 08, 2010 (Friday)
Sinulog 2010 Kick Off

Sinulog Photo Exhibits through the years @SM City Cebu, Ayala Center Cebu, MCIAA
Solemn Mass (Basilica del Sto. Niño)
3:00 PM
Launching Parade (Basilica del Sto. Niño to Cebu City Sports Center)
7:00 PM
Opening and Launching Program, Fuente Osmeña featuring Mandaue City Children’s Choir, Dancesports Team Cebu and Dance Troupes from Cebu’s schools and universities
7:30 PM
Ms. Cebu 2010 Presentation, Fuente Osmeña
8:00 PM
Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM
Streen Party Bands

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Eve party of five, you excluded

This is pathetic, but this year, at the strike of midnight, you find yourself at the balcony, hugging your knees whilst watching the fireworks light up the Dumaguete skyline. But there is no suggestion of sadness here. It's not numbness either you said. If this is insanity, then, pretty much, you like your state of mind right now.

The mass ends. The family across the street gathers at their frontyard with fire crackers, car engines revving up and a boom box in full throttle. But, yes, the New Year opens with you by your lonesome. Of your own desire, of your own making. Away from the warmth of your family and your ever-understanding girlfriend. It's a party of five here, including you, but in the end you choose to vanquish yourself.

Because this will be your last chance to dig the guilty pleasure of spending New Year's eve solo, between terminals, between boarding gates. Because a promise of a new home is waiting and a party of three is shaping in the shadows, breathing a new life in next January's rain.

for W, and yes, I love you so.