Viva Pit Senor!
I just got home from witnessing the Sinulog 2012 Fluvial Parade. It was my first time to have done so although I just live walking distance from the Mactan – Mandaue Bridge, the usual place where visitors and devotees converge to watch and witness the fluvial procession.
I am glad I woke up early at 5am for this annual fluvial parade in honor of the Sto Nino, the Patron Saint of Cebu. This is one of the major activities for Sinulog, the religious festival celebrated in Cebu.
On the days nearing the 3rd Sunday of January, all hotels, pension houses and inns in Cebu are bursting on the edges with the deluge of tourists, pilgrims and visitors that visits the Queen City of the South. Many of these people are either here in Cebu for the festival and the merry-making but there are far more who comes here every January to pay homage to the Baby Jesus, Sto Nino. It’s their devotion and their promise to the Child Jesus to come here on his feast day.
So I woke up early and waited for Titus to arrived in our house. I told him that we might have vantage point if we go to the 2nd bridge, Marcelo Fernan Bridge to await the Sinulog 2012 Fluvial Procession and Parade. Well, little did I know the parade won’t pass by the 2nd bridge hehehhe. Talk about not researching ahead! Lol. Good thing Titus asked the policemen patrolling the area if the fluvial will pass by there and he was told that last year it did not. And apparently, also not this year. So I was grinning ear to ear, c’mon it was a simple mistake hahhah so at nearing 6am, the time the fluvial parade is supposed to start, we were still at the 2nd bridge and ‘running’ to the first bridge, which is by the way just about a 100 meters or so from my house hehehhe and a ride away from the Fernan Bridge. Good thing traffic was very light this early morn.
Earlier, the first time we passed by the first bridge, there was no crowd yet and you can’t see anyone hiking up to the bridge. When we got back from our short sojourn to the 2nd bridge, there were already hundreds of people. Ouch, so we lost prime spot to watch the Sinulog 2012 Fluvial Parade hehehheh
Approaching the bridge, we can see lots of people going either on the bridge or below the bridge as well as vendors selling flowers, balloons with the inscription Viva! Sto Nino!, taho and other local delicacies. We bought taho and climbed up.
Flower Vendor at the foot of the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge
Balloons are everywhere peddled by these industrious vendors
People teeming on top of the first bridge
The crowd at the seaside waiting for the procession to start
The crowd you see above swells nearing the start of the Grand Fluvial Parade for Sinulog 2012. The parade was supposed to start at 6am but it started around 7:30, maybe because of the tens of boats and ships which joined the fluvial procession. Looking at them from the bridge, the ships look so tiny and totally crowding the narrow Mactan Channel. Many of the bigger boats have their own drums and some of the fluvial participants in them are dancing the Sinulog dance, one step forward, two steps backward while holding an image of the Sto Nino.
First boats arrives to the Fluvial Procession 2012 for Cebu’s Sinulog
Boat Participant early arrival
Tug Boats, Motorize Bancas, Yatch joining the Fluvial Parade
Sinulog Fluvial Boat Participant with Uniformed Sailors
Decorated Boats Joining Sinulog 2012
Multi-Decorated Boat Participants to the Sinulog 2012 Fluvial Parade
But this is the boat everyone is waiting for, the vessel carrying the sacred image of the Sto Nino de Cebu
Boat with the Sto Nino! Pit Senyor!
This boat carrying the Child Jesus, Sto Nino went under the bridge and then turn around. It was the signal that the Fluvial Parade for the Sinulog 2012 is about the start. We can hear the helicopter flying atop us and in just a few minutes, confetti rained on us, the sea, the boats and everyone who were there to watch and take part in the fluvial parade. One by one those who bought flowers threw their flowers to the sea together with their fervent prayers of being Blessed by the Sto Nino. Those who bought balloons, they released them to the air. The balloons were like dots on the sky, going higher and higher. We saw some balloons with papers tied to their strings, I guess they contain prayers. Everyone was rejoicing and waving to the Sto Nino of Cebu. And those in the boats dance to the beat of the Sinulog drums.
Balloons released into the air with hopes and prayers that they will reach the heaven and their wishes be granted
Balloons for Sto Nino! Pit Senior!
The Vessel with the Sto Nino lead the Fluvial Procession 2012
Sinulog 2012 Fluvial Procession in the Mactan Channel
Yesterday, the image of the Sto Nino together with Mama Mary (Our Lady of Guadalupe) was transferred to the St Joseph Parish in Mandaue City via the Translacion procession and motorcade. Early today, the fluvial procession will bring back the image of the Child Jesus to the Basilica del Sto Nino. The next Sinulog activity will be the reenactment of the first Catholic Baptism in the Philippines, this will be re-enacted on the basilica’s courtyard after the mass. And tomorrow is Sinulog 2012 Grand Parade.
This annual celebration in Cebu is something founded on faith and religion. For those that just thinks of Sinulog as a mardi gras , please think again. Sinulog is first and foremost a celebration of Faith in the Child Jesus.
Viva Senior Sto Nino! Viva! Pit Senyor Cebu!
SINULOG 2014 – Check the post FLUVIAL PROCESSION 2014.