As a true blue Cebuana, Sinulog has always been part of my life. I have photo proof of me watching the parade from my dad’s shoulders decades ago. In my 20s, it was a week-long lineup of festivities, culminating in the crazy street party that was Sinulog Sunday.
The festival is something I remember fondly—and though I barely have the energy to hit the streets now, it’s an experience everyone should be able to have. And being the first Sinulog since the pandemic, this year’s festivities promise to be big.
That said, Sinulog isn’t always the easiest experience. There are large crowds. Cellular service is suspended. Now, the weather poses an even bigger challenge for festival-goers. So how exactly are you supposed to have fun?
We’ve come up with a few tips to make sure you survive the weekend!
Have a Game Plan
Like I said, it’ll be hard to communicate with your friends when there’s no phone coverage. Make sure you meet up somewhere beforehand, or decide on a meeting place in case anyone gets separated from the group.
Also, look through the parade routes and event location maps so you’re already familiar with the area before you get there. Check out the schedules of events too. When you’re in a massive crowd, the last thing you want is to have no idea where you are or what’s going on.
Wear Comfortable Rain-Proof Clothing
Dressing casually is always a staple, but this year, you may want to make sure rain boots are part of your outfit. With muddy venues, you want to make sure your feet don’t get too wet.
And in case it starts pouring, umbrellas might not be a great idea when you’re trying to navigate through a crowd. A heavy-duty raincoat (in festive colors!) can protect you from the weather, and keep your hands free.
Whether you’re planning on partying with your friends, or want to catch all the contingents of the parade, make sure to drink lots of water. There are more than a few anecdotes of people fainting due to heat and dehydration—and though heat might not be a problem this year, it still pays to be ready.
Sinulog is a time when people from all over the world flock to Cebu. Try and make new friends by chatting up the people you meet.
Of course, this advice also counts for when the crowds get a little overwhelming. It’s easy to start snapping at the people who are squeezing past you on the street, but try your best to be nice. They want to enjoy the festival just as much as you do.
Whatever your plans are, remember not to take them too seriously. Be flexible to changes (trust us, there will be changes!), and loosen up. You’re here to celebrate the biggest festival in the country, so make sure you do just that!