To some people they equate Cebu’s Sinulog celebration with the grand street dancing happening on the 3rd Sunday of January but to the faithful Cebuanos and the Sto Nino de Cebu devotees all over the Philippines and the world, Sinulog is more than the non-stop street parties you watch on tv shows and you’ve read on blogs, Sinulog, after all is a religious celebration in honor of Sto Nino de Cebu.
One of the highlights of the Sinulog is the Fluvial Parade which I’ve just witnessed.
First boats arrived on Mactan Channel for the Fluvial Procession
Waking up early and walking the two blocks to the Mactan – Mandaue Bridge from our house, I thought that only a few people will be there with us considering that weather has been less than ideal lately. Metro Cebu has been experiencing off and on rain due to a persistent low pressure area down in Mindanao which affects us too. A couple of days ago, the LPA became a full-fledged typhoon named Agaton. With this weather development, the Philippine Coast Guards said that if seas are rough by Saturday (today) in Cebu they will have no choice but to cancel the Fluvial procession for the safety of everyone. But Thank God, there was no rain and the waves were very calm as we wait for dawn to break. Pit Senyor!
Boats and devotees participating in the Fluvial procession
A lot of people waited at the top of Mactan – Mandaue Bridge, we were seeing banca after banca slowly making its way into the Mactan Channel, taking their designated position. After a couple of hours, maybe around 7 am, the boat carrying the Sto Nino de Cebu and Our Lady of Guadalupe finally entered the channel.
Sto Nino de Cebu
The Sto Nino de Cebu on-board this boat
When the throng of devotees and spectators saw the boat, one by one the flowers held by devotees were released into the sea together with their sincere prayers. White, red and yellow paper ribbons and confetti were showered on the tens of boats below us. Kids, ladies, men were waiving at the Sto Nino boat, saying ‘hi!’ to the Child Jesus, cries of ‘Pit Senyor!’ echoed, prayers were said. It’s was a beautiful sight even on a cloudy day.
When the official boat carrying the image of Sto Nino turned back to head to Pier 1, all the other boats who were waiting at the other side of the bridge followed suit.
The boats follow the Sto Nino de Cebu vessel to Pier 1
The Fluvial Parade will end in Pier 1 where the boats will dock then the procession will continue on foot until the miraculous image of the Holy Child will be brought back to the Basilica Minore del Sto Nino where more and more devotees wait for Him.
Viva Pit Senyor! Viva Senior Sto Nino!